Boy George convicted of falsely imprisoning male escort

SINGER Boy George was convicted today of falsely imprisoning a male escort.

Norwegian Audun Carlsen, 29, said the musician beat him with a metal chain as he tried to escape from his flat after a naked photo shoot.

A jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court found that the case against the 46-year-old musician – being tried under his real name of George O'Dowd – had been made.

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The star did not give evidence but the court heard he told police he handcuffed Mr Carlsen to his bed at his flat in Shoreditch, east London, on April 28 last year while he investigated alleged tampering with his computer.

He accused Mr Carlsen of obtaining photos of himself from his laptop, taken by O'Dowd when the pair met three months earlier.

He denied to police that he punched or assaulted Mr Carlsen or swung a chain at him as the escort fled the flat and suggested the bruises Mr Carlsen sustained could have been due to the fact that he was HIV positive.

The defence claimed that the dispute was over whether Mr Carlsen had stolen photographs and, in doing that, "messed up" O'Dowd's computer.

The suggestion that it was because Mr Carlsen refused to have sex with O'Dowd on the previous occasion was "entire fantasy or a lie", the defence said.

Mr Carlsen told the court that O'Dowd concocted the story about computer tampering so he could punish him for not having sex during the first meeting.

He said: "I think he couldn't handle the refusal – me not having sex with him."

He said O'Dowd performed unprotected oral sex on him for five seconds at the first meeting as he (Mr Carlsen) sat naked in a chair, but O'Dowd told police he was annoyed about that claim.

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"I'd never have slept with someone who is HIV positive," he told police.

The prosecution said the pair made contact on the Gaydar website, a social networking site primarily for gay and bisexual men.

Prosecuting barrister Heather Norton said their first meeting seemed to be going well until the singer started to suspect Mr Carlsen of hacking into his computer.

But they parted on good terms and the singer paid the younger man 300 of the 400 they had agreed.

In the weeks that followed they exchanged emails in which the singer accused Mr Carlsen of breaking into his computer system.

But in later emails the singer said he would be "perfectly happy to see you naked asap". He referred to Mr Carlsen's "heavenly butt" and eventually they agreed to meet for a second time.

The case was adjourned for sentence on January 16.

O'Dowd looked grim-faced as the female foreman of the jury delivered the verdict.

He licked his lips nervously and spoke only to confirm that he understood the new condition of his bail, that he live and sleep at an address which was handed on a piece of paper to the court.

Judge David Radford called for a pre-sentence report.

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He said: "This is a case where custody is the more likely option."

He told O'Dowd: "The fact that your bail is being continued does not imply that this will be dealt with by a non-custodial sentence. I don't want any false expectations created."

Mr Carlsen said during the hearing that it was during the second meeting with the singer that things took a violent turn.

After calling Mr Carlsen into his bedroom, O'Dowd and another man leapt on him, wrestled him to the floor and started beating him.

He told the court that during the attack O'Dowd was screaming "F****** whore! Now you're going to get what you deserve".

He told the court that he was dragged along the floor towards the bed and a manacle was put on his right hand and attached to a hook drilled in the wall.

The second man left, Mr Carlsen told the court, and O'Dowd produced a plastic box containing chains, sex toys and leather straps.

Mr Carlsen told the court he was then able to use the handcuffs as a tool to unscrew the hook from the wall. He ran to the door with O'Dowd pursuing him, lashing out with a metal chain.

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He managed to escape and ran out on to the street in just his underwear screaming for help.

O'Dowd told police: "I asked him to come (back to my flat) because I wanted to find out if this guy had borrowed my stuff.

"I got a friend there because I wanted to make sure he didn't leave so I could check the computer and his phone. The friend was just there in case he tried to stab me or take a hammer to me."

He said Mr Carlsen "struggled a bit" when he was handcuffing him "because he realised I wasn't messing around".

"I didn't tell him the reason I was doing what I was doing. I said I just wanted to check something. He was saying 'let me go'."

He denied to police he had called Mr Carlsen a whore, saying: "My boyfriend is an escort. Why would I call him a whore?"

And he added: "If I was going to beat him up, I would have got my friend to beat him up with me, if I was going to do anything that vile."

The court was shown photographs of deep red welts on Mr Carlsen's head and injuries to his arm, which he said had been inflicted by O'Dowd.

O'Dowd said in his interview he could not account for the injuries.

He left the court without speaking to reporters asking him for his reaction.

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