Big Fat Gipsy Wedding father jailed for attack on woman

PUBLISHED: 06:22 04 November 2011

Mary Casey

Mary Casey

Archant

A ST ALBANS Traveller who suffered chipped teeth and scarring to her face following a terrifying attack is relieved that her assailant, the father of a bride featured in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, has been jailed.

Mary Casey, of Park Street, was 21 when the assault took place outside Colindale police station in north London on June 21 this year. Christopher McFadyen, of Friars Road, Hayes, was sentenced to seven months jail on Wednesday at Wood Green Crown Court.

The court was told that the 44 year old lunged at Miss Casey through the open window of her sister’s Mini Cooper. McFadyen and four others, including his wife, surrounded the vehicle before the father of nine punched his victim in the face, leaving her with a bruised face and chipped teeth.

His son, John McFadyen, shot to fame in Channel 4’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding earlier this year when he “grabbed” Cheyenne Pidgley, and pinned her against a car park wall in a dating ritual.

Tension flared between the two traveller families after Miss Casey was chosen as queen of the Appleby Horse Fair over one of Christopher McFadyen’s daughters.

At yesterday’s sentencing Judge Martin Reynold told McFadyen: “I regard this as a wicked and violent attack on a woman stranded in a car who was quite defenceless.

“You were taking the law into your own hands and that is not acceptable in a civilised society.”

John McFadyen, 17, approached Miss Casey alongside his father as she sat in a car outside the police station, the court was told.

Charlotte Eadie, prosecuting, said the group “imprisoned” her before McFadyen punched her through the open passenger side window. Ms Eadie said that Miss Casey was still receiving treatment for her injuries which had cost £660 to date.

She added: “She has also found it difficult to socialise with friends for fear of a further attack.”

Rebecca Lee, defending, urged the judge to impose a suspended sentence to allow McFadyen to look after his partially-sighted son.

She said: “Quite simply, it was a momentary loss of self-control. He certainly regrets the injuries caused and indeed that an incident developed at all in these particular circumstances.”

Addressing members of both families watching proceedings from the public gallery, Judge Reynolds said: “I hope this is a matter which as far as possible draws a line under the dispute between these two families.”

He described the attack as terrifying because Miss Casey was imprisoned in the car and unable to avoid the punch.

Judge Reynolds went on: “The victim remains frightened and was a vulnerable victim. I conclude that a sentence of imprisonment is inevitable.”

McFadyen had denied assault causing actual bodily harm but was convicted after a trial. He was also ordered to pay £660 compensation to Miss Casey.

Speaking after sentencing, Miss Casey said she was glad her attacker had been “named and shamed.”

Her mother, also named Mary Casey, added that while she was glad McFadyen had been jailed, she had hoped for a longer sentence.

She said that while it had been hard pressing charges, McFadyen had badly injured her daughter, who has still to undergo a further six courses of treatment on her scarred face.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser