Fatal Fire "Accidental"
Fiance Of Natalie Cassidy Escapes Jail
The former fiance of Eastenders actress Natalie Cassidy was made the subject of a restraining order today (Tuesday June 21st) forbidding him to have any contact with her.
The order was made after he appeared in court to admit attacking her at the flat they shared together.
The actress, who played downtrodden Sonia in the tv soap, was forced to flee their home after boyfriend Adam Cottrell ripped her top during a drunken bout of violence.
Hertford Magistrates Court heard it was just incident in a series of escalating abuse that Miss Cassidy was forced to endure.
Cottrell, 31, appeared in the dock to admit two offences of assaulting Miss Cassidy and criminal damage.
Elaine McMillan, prosecuting, told how the couple shared a top floor flat in Broxbourne, Herts.
The court heard that, in the early Spring of this year, the couple had been together for some two years and had a young child.
Miss McMillan told the court that the actress noticed her fiance was regularly drinking alcohol, which would often lead to arguments.
On April 30 this year, an argument flared up following his drinking and, as he became more abusive towards her, he damaged a window, smeared mascara over her and slapped the top of her legs with slippers, causing bruising.
That was followed by a brief holiday together in Cyprus, but then on May 20 this year, there was another bout of violence, when he grabbed her by the arms and ripped her top, said the prosecutor.
Miss Cassidy, 28, was forced to flee their flat with their child and went to stay with her father.
The court heard that two days later she rang Mr Cottrell to say that she was returning and wanted him out.
The court heard that on her return she found the glass front of her microwave had been broken, a set off wine glasses had been smashed and a candelabra was broken.
MissMcMillan said that on each occasion when the offences had been committed, alcohol had been drunk by the defendant and their young child had been present.
She described the ripping of Miss Cassidy's clothing as particularly humiliating.
The court was told the actress wanted a restraining order put in place which would forbit Cottrell from having any contact with her other than through a third party.
Mr Vincent Mitchell, defending, said "He is fully remorseful for this. He accepted fully when arrested that he had done wrong."
Mr Mitchel said that although Cottrell didn't consider himself to have a drink problem, drink had been consumed on every occasion when there was violence and he had now taken the decision himself to stop.
He said Cottrell had got into the habit of coming home from work and unwinding with a drink and both he and Miss Cassidy had drunk wine together.
Passing sentence, Deputy District Judge Anita Borwick said: "Your behaviour towards Miss Cassidy was humiliating and disturbing."
She said the incidents of abuse and violence had been fuelled by alcohol and she said she was concerned a pattern of behaviour might be emerging.
She sentenced Cottrell to a 12 month community order and he was told he was being made the subject of a supervision order for the same period.
In addition, he was told he must perform 120 hours of unpaid work.
Cottrell was also told he was being made the subject of a restraining order and should not contact Miss Cassidy either directly or indirectly, except through her sister-in-law.
The Deputy District Judge told Cottrell that the order was to protect the actress from harassment and fear of violence.
In addition, Cottrell was told he must pay £350 compensation for the damage he caused and £100 compensation to Miss Cassidy herself. He must also pay £85 costs.
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