Hurst fined over gig rage

Smashing phone costs him £227

Lee Hurst has been fined £60 for smashing an audience member’s mobile phone.

He admitted the charge of criminal damage when he appeared at Guildford Magistrates' Court today and was also ordered to pay compensation of £80 and £87 costs.

The 46-year-old comedian, who represented himself, said he smashed the handset out of anger because he thought his material was being filmed.

He also accused writers of recording his material so they could copy his jokes and sell them on to television shows.

The chairman of the bench, Jon Curtis, told him: "Although we have some sympathy with the situation you found yourself in it is clearly not an excuse to cause damage."

Hurst threw the Motorola K1 to the floor during an angry tirade at the Stoke Pub in Guildford last September. Gareth Hughes, who owned the phone, said he was texting his babysitter to say he would be late.

The former They Think It’s All Over panellist told the court he saw the light from the phone following him around the stage, and said he acted on behalf of all stand-ups who had to ‘suffer’ people using their phones during gigs.

Hurst, from Limehouse, East London, said he initially denied committing the offence because prosecution had the wrong date. They also got his date of birth wrong - putting 1952 instead of 1962.

Published: 16 Feb 2009

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