Liam Gallagher’s son Gene, 19, and model friend deny ‘racist attack’ on Tesco worker, court hears 


Liam Gallagher’s youngest son and Ringo Starr’s grandson are facing trial for allegedly attacking Tesco workers as they tried to buy drink in a shop near their Hampstead homes.

Gene Appleton Gallagher and Sonny Starkey, both 19, were arrested after a late-night fracas at a Tesco Express in Hampstead, north London on May 17 last year.

The pair were out with 20-year-old model Noah Ponte at a nearby pub when they entered the store at midnight looking for more alcohol.

Gallagher and Starkey are accused of ‘windmilling’ down the aisle at a shopkeeper who was trying to stop them leaving.

Gene Gallagher at Wood Green Magistrates Court, north London, today, along with Noel Ponte and Sonny Starkey are accused of affray at Tesco Express in Hampstead

The trio all denied charges of affray, while Gallagher and Ponte also face a charge of racially aggravated assault.

Starkey and Pontey also denied assault by beating shopkeeper Hiran Rajput.

Gallagher and Starkey further denied assaulting Shium Patel by beating in the same incident.

Ponte alone denied stealing a can of alcohol from Tesco.

Their trial has been set for 18 January next year at Wood Green Crown Court.

Sonny’s dad Jason, 49 – the youngest son of Beatles drummer Ringo, 79, was in court to hear the case.

Noel Ponte at Wood Green Magistrates Court today

Sonny Starkey at Wood Green Magistrates Court today

Gene Appleton Gallagher and Sonny Starkey (pictured), both 19, were arrested after a late-night fracas at a Tesco Express in Hampstead, north London on May 17 last year. Pictured today

Alexander Agbamu, prosecuting, said: ‘Factually it’s a very straightforward case, much of the incident was captured on CCTV, that which isn’t is described by eyewitnesses, by those who are described as the alleged victims.’

Ponte, a model signed to IMG, is accused of racially abusing shopkeeper Shium Patel after he was told he couldn’t buy a can of beer at midnight, by saying: ‘You bloody Indians. Go back to where you came from. You’re not wanted here.’

Gallagher, Starkey and Ponte, all of Hampstead, all denied affray.

Gallagher further denied racially aggravated assault by beating.

Gene Gallagher arrives for a hearing at Wood Green Crown Court earlier this year, March 9

Gene Gallagher arrives for a hearing at Wood Green Crown Court earlier this year, March 9

The charge alleges that he ‘assaulted by beating Hiran Rajput and at the time of doing so, or immediately before doing so, or after doing so, demonstrated towards Hiran Rajput hostility based on his membership or presumed membership of a particular racial group, namely Indian and was wholly or partly motivated to do so by hostility towards members of a particular racial group, namely Indian, based on his membership of such racial group’.

Ponte and Starkey further denied assault by beating shopkeeper Hiran Rajput.

Starkey denied assaulting Shium Patel by beating. 

Noah Ponte

Sonny Starkey

Noah Ponte (left) and Sonny Starkey (right) arrive at Wood Green Crown Court, earlier this year

Ponte denied theft and racially aggravated assault by beating.

The second charge against him alleges he ‘assaulted by beating Shium Patel and at the time of doing so, or immediately before doing so, or after doing so, demonstrated towards Shium Patel hostility based on his membership or presumed membership of a particular racial group, namely Indian and was wholly or partly motivated to do so by hostility towards members of a particular racial group, namely, Indian based on his membership of such racial group’. 

Gallagher, Starkey, and Ponte, all from Camden, only spoke to formally enter not guilty pleas.  

They were all granted unconditional bail ahead of a provisional trial date of 18 January, to be confirmed at a case management hearing on 17 December.  

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