Influencing the prosecutors’ decision to drop the case was newly uncovered CCTV footage, handed to the court by Starkey’s defence lawyer, which reportedly shows one of the Tesco staff pushing the 21-year-old over. According to an independent eyewitness, the staffer was seen “hitting and grabbing Mr Starkey and appearing to target him”.
In response, prosecutor Alexander Agbamu told the court that Gallagher and Starkey “now have a strong case to the effect that Mr Starkey was lawfully defending himself and Mr Gallagher was lawfully defending Mr Starkey.”
Agbamu also noted that a security guard at the Tesco said the altercation was “avoidable”. The prosecutor claimed that “the staff should have been more patient with the males”, as “they were clearly young and drunk”.
(From left to right): Gene Gallagher, Sonny Stark, Noah Ponte. CREDIT: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for REALISATION PAR
Ponte’s charge – over the alleged theft of a canned gin and tonic priced at £1.70 – was cleared by a jury yesterday (April 1) after 30 minutes of deliberation. Greenberg reportedly insisted that the Crown Prosecution Service should drop the charge altogether, saying that particular offence was “trivial”.
Greenberg handed Gallagher and Starkey a “bind over”, putting an end to the three-year case on the promise that the pair would stay out of trouble for 12 months.
Gallagher, Starkey and Ponte first appeared in court in February 2020 when the charges were issued. Both the son of the Oasis frontman and grandson of The Beatles drummer were described as “windmilling” down the aisle when a shopkeeper tried to stop them leaving the store, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court previously heard.
Ponte, meanwhile, was accused of telling Patel: “You bloody Indians. Go back to where you came from. You’re not wanted here.”
Last year, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to their individual charges, and remained on bail until the trial at Wood Green Crown Court.
His brother Lennon is the frontman in a band called Automotion, while Gallagher recently told NME that “Gene’s got some tunes on the go as well” with both is sons creating music that’s “so fucking weird.”