Kasabian’s Tom Meighan goes through rehab after ‘inexcusable’ attack on ex-fiancee but hopes couple can 'rebuild life'

KASABIAN'S former frontman Tom Meighan has admitted that he's previously 'never been sober' after he attacked his girlfriend in a booze-fuelled rage – but has now been alcohol-free for three weeks.

Meighan, 39, wept in court yesterday after CCTV showed him battering his ex-fiancee Vikki Ager before dragging her by the ankles into the back garden of their home.

Meighan, who was spared a prison sentence, also threw his partner of four years across a room and into a hamster cage before threatening her with a wooden pallet during the "sustained attack".

Tonight, the rocker has issued a public apology to his partner and fans for the shocking incident.

And he confessed he's struggled with alcohol for years – despite previous stints in rehab.

"I am very sorry and deeply regret my recent behaviour," he said.

"I have struggled for many years with alcohol addiction."

He said he was "spiralling out of control", adding: "My mental health was becoming more and more unstable and I was at breaking point.

"I booked myself into a rehabilitation programme for alcoholism.

"It's been well documented I've undergone treatment before, but in truth I've never actually been completely sober.

"This time has been different.

"I left the programme three weeks ago and with the support of my family and friends, I've been taking every day as it comes, getting through each day completely clean and sober.

"This time I actually really want to do it, not just for those I care about, but also for myself."

Meighan said he had recently been diagnosed with ADHD, which had helped him "understand more about my behavioural issues".

He also said he and Ms Ager were "very much in love and we are looking forward to rebuilding our life together with the support of those close to us" and described the incident as "an isolated one" and "out of character".

Ms Ager was left with swelling to her eye, a head injury, bruises to her knees, elbow and ankle as well as reddening around the neck after the attack.

The singer wiped his eyes with a tissue and held his head in his hands as he admitted the domestic abuse charge at Leicester Magistrates Court heard.

But he avoided jail after District Judge Nick Watson ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Following the sentencing, Kasabian were criticised for releasing a statement ahead of the court case saying Meighan was leaving the band for 'personal reasons'.

Domestic abuse charity Women's Aid wrote on Twitter: "Disappointing to see @KasabianHQ say the reason their lead singer was leaving the band was due to ‘personal reasons that affected his behaviour’.

"Today he pleaded guilty to assaulting his former fiancée in front of a child. There is no excuse for abuse."

Sophie Walker, CEO of Young Women's Trust, added: "A day after #DomesticAbuseBill passes Tom Meighan gets community service rather than a prison sentence and a small-mouthed goodbye from his band referring to 'personal issues'.

"We have a long, long way to go."

The band later released a second statement saying they could not speak about the domestic violence charge publicly until court proceedings had concluded.

Now the remaining band-members say his abuse and violence is 'inexcuseable'.

A statement said: "We were left with no choice but to ask Tom to leave the band.

"There is absolutely no way we can condone his assault conviction.

"Domestic violence and abuse of any kind is totally unacceptable."

They said they'd had to hold back information of the charge against him "until he was found guilty in a court".

"As soon as we found out about the charges made against Tom, we as a band made the decision we could no longer work with him."

"Domestic violence is something that can never be excused."

Meighan had earlier faced further fury after tweeting he was 'in a good place' between the band's announcement and his guilty plea.

He wrote: "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 #TomMeighan #Kasabian"

How you can get help

Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Sentencing Meighan at Leicester Magistrates Court, Judge Watson said the victim hasn't made a statement to police and doesn't appear to support the prosecution.

Meighan was arrested at the scene but had to be transported to a police station in a van because he was confrontational behavior.

When questioned by police he denied an assault but after seeing the footage accepted that he “threw the victim across the room in a rage”.

Meighan originally denied an assault had taken place but after watching video footage, he told officers he could not watch it any further because it was "horrible".

Meighan, known for his rockstar style and swagger on stage, had fronted Kasabian since 1997 with the band going on to release six top 10 albums, win a string of awards and headline Glastonbury in 2014.

His departure from Kasabian leaves guitarist Serge Pizzorno and bassist Chris Edwards as the only remaining founding members, with current drummer Ian Matthews joining the group in 2004.

A source said: “The guys all love Tom dearly, but the current situation is untenable. Sadly parting ways for the time being was the only answer.”

The singer has been dogged by personal problems including drug and alcohol abuse.

He became infamous for outspoken remarks about fellow stars, including Pete Doherty and Justin Timberlake.

It was not clear whether Kasabian will seek a permanent replacement.

If you are affected by domestic abuse, please call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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