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Kasabian reveal they ordered Tom Meighan to quit after he attacked partner in lockdown assault

Band members of Kasabian have today revealed how they demanded lead singer Tom Meighan quit after he attacked his fiancee and dragged her by the ankles in a wine-fuelled lockdown assault.

It comes as the 39-year-old appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court today and pleaded guilty to beating Vikki Ager in their back garden on April 9.

A judge sentenced him to 200 hours unpaid work after hearing his ‘girlfriend wants him back’.

The band had originally put out a statement on their Facebook page yesterday saying Meighan was leaving the band due to ‘personal issues’ and saying they would ‘not be commenting further’.

But in a new statement issued on the band’s Twitter page today they said they had ‘no choice’ but to ask him to leave and branded the incident ‘totally unacceptable’. 

It comes as a court today heard Meighan ‘smelt heavily of intoxicants’ as he dragged victim Ms Agar across a canopy, threw her against a hamster cage and put his hands around her neck.

He also hit her in the face and threatened to strike her with a wooden pallet.

Miss Agar, who did not support the prosecution and was said to be hopeful of resuming the relationship, was left with a series of injuries, the court heard.

A child witnessed the assault and called 999 to say a ‘domestic incident was taking place’, the court was told.

Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan today cried as he admitted attacking his fiancee and dragging her by the ankles in a wine-fuelled lockdown assault. Meighan is pictured with fiancee Vikki Ager at a movie premiere in London in June last year

Prosecutor Naeem Valli said the child ‘sounded panicked and afraid’ while making the call and the victim could be heard saying ‘get off me, get off me’.

Mr Valli said officers described Ms Ager as being ‘visibly upset’ while Meighan was said to be ‘unco-operative and aggressive’.

Meighan, of Narborough, originally denied assault but after watching video footage, he told officers he could not watch it any further because it was ‘horrible’. 

Meighan wiped his eyes with a tissue and held his head in his hands as footage of the attack was played. 

Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan (pictured arriving at court today) pleaded guilty to assaulting his former fiancee a day after he quit the band

Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan (pictured arriving at court today) pleaded guilty to assaulting his former fiancee a day after he quit the band

The rock star, 39, admitted to beating Vikki Ager on April 9 at Leicester Magistrates' Court (pictured, today)

The rock star, 39, admitted to beating Vikki Ager on April 9 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court (pictured, today)

The court heard Ms Ager suffered bruising to her knees, left elbow, outer ankle and big toe as well as a reddening around the neck, which she confirmed to officers was as a result of the assault.

Prosecutor Valli told the court the offence ‘could be argued to be relatively serious’ – describing it as a ‘sustained assault’.

Defending him, Michelle Heeley QC told the court he ‘offers his sincere apologies to the people he has let down and he has sought to address his offending behaviour’.

Ms Heeley had made an application to the court for Meighan’s address to be withheld from the public, quoting ‘high-profile cases such as Caroline Flack who committed suicide in similar circumstances’.

The judge dismissed the application after submissions said a section 11 order banning the publication of a defendant’s address was ‘not enacted for the comfort and feelings of defendants’. 

Meighan quit the band (pictured in 2018) yesterday, with it releasing a statement saying he was dealing with 'personal issues' and wanted to concentrate on 'getting his life back on track'

Meighan quit the band (pictured in 2018) yesterday, with it releasing a statement saying he was dealing with ‘personal issues’ and wanted to concentrate on ‘getting his life back on track’ 

Sentencing Meighan, District Judge Nick Watson said: ‘Ms Ager has not made a statement to police and does not appear to support this prosecution. Of course, that choice does not mean I should treat this offence any less seriously.

‘You knocked Ms Ager over on more than one occasion and put your hands to her throat.

‘You hit her in the face and pushed her into a hamster cage, which resulted in injury to her head.

‘You threatened her with a wooden pallet. It seems you thought better of it, thankfully, and threw it down on the hot tub aggressively. Throughout most of the video she could be seen fighting you off.

‘There are a number of things which make this offence more serious. A child was witness to this behaviour and she must have been frightened over what was happening.

‘The police have been called before and there is evidence of previous abusive behaviour. Ms Ager says what happened was an isolated event.

‘I need to take account of the fact that not only did you hurt Ms Ager, you also let down many people – band members and those who love your music.

‘They will be shocked about what you did that night. I have been told that you have recognised that you have a problem with alcohol.’ 

Kasabian confirmed yesterday lead singer Tom had quit the band and said 'personal issues have affected his behaviour for some time' (pictured in 2017)

Kasabian confirmed yesterday lead singer Tom had quit the band and said ‘personal issues have affected his behaviour for some time’ (pictured in 2017)

Meighan quit Kasabian yesterday, with it releasing a statement saying he was dealing with ‘personal issues’ and wanted to concentrate on ‘getting his life back on track’.

The band’s official Twitter account posted: ‘Tom Meighan is stepping down from Kasabian by mutual consent.

‘Tom has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time and now wants to concentrate all his energies on getting his life back on track. We will not be commenting further.’

Meighan later wrote on his page: ‘Following today’s announcement I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing well.

‘I’m in a really good place now. Thanks for all your love and support. I’ll be seeing you all very soon. TM x.’

Ms Ager is Meighan’s former fiancee, with the rocker revealing they were engaged in 2017.

He told Clash magazine ‘I’ve just got engaged so there you go! A lot has happened this year… trust me, man, f***ing hell!’

Miss Agar did not support today’s prosecution and was said to be hopeful of resuming their relationship. 

 

 

Meighan previously told Radio X he experienced a meltdown in 2016 after he split from girlfriend Kim James, with whom he has daughter Mimi, now six.

Referencing his local team Leicester City’s shock Premier League title win that same year, Meighan said: ‘Basically my life changed. I’m by myself. Because I lost myself.

‘In every way 2016 was great for Serge, great for Leicester City, s*** for me. I had to sort my head out. My attitude. Stuff I was doing. People I was associating with. Not bad people.

‘I was the one that was bad, I was in the haze. I was very unhappy, just down. You block it out by just carrying on. I was making myself ill, I ain’t gonna lie, my mind was jolted.’

He added he was not taking responsibility for what he was going through, calling the experience ‘horrendous.’ 

This year Kasabian was due to play a massive homecoming concert at Leicester’s Victoria Park on June 20, but had to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With their live plans halted, Meighan revealed the band had been writing tracks for a seventh studio album – their first since 2017’s For Crying Out Loud – and he had been penning some ‘autobiographical’ solo songs in lockdown.

He recently told Sky News: ‘We’re going to try and make a new record as soon as we can but we can’t really do anything while we’re restricted. Serge has been writing songs for Kasabian so it’s all good.’

Discussing his own solo plans, Meighan added: ‘I’m writing loads of music at the minute.

‘We’ll see what happens. I’ve got a few cookies in the jar… and they’re not bad, you know.

‘It’s very autobiographical, like the story of my life. It’s kind of… heartbreaking. Well, not heartbreaking, just to the core, you know. Very real.’

Kasabian has been together since 1997 and earned huge success with songs such as Fire, Processed Beat and Club Foot.

In 2018, band member Serge Pizzorno released his debut solo album under the name S.L.P. (Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno).

He told the Sun at the time the band had no plans to go their separate ways, adding: ‘I am in my band and I love my band.

‘The best way to describe it is, it’s like another planet I can now visit whenever I want. It’s this planet that orbits and I can go there for a bit.’

Kasabian took a break following their 2017 For Crying Out Loud tour.

Pizzorno said: ‘When you get to six albums, you’ve got to keep it clever and make it interesting. Kasabian have had six albums — five No1 albums in a row.

‘We’ve headlined Glastonbury, Leicester Stadium, The O2 and got really big in Europe, Eastern Europe and South America.’

Meighan’s departure leaves guitarist Pizzorno and bassist Chris Edwards as the only remaining founding members, with drummer Ian Matthews joining in 2004.

It is not clear whether Kasabian will seek to replace Meighan as lead vocalist.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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