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Noel Gallagher at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel in September, 2008, while in Toronto for the Virgin Music Festival. (JENNIFER ROBERTS/Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail)
Noel Gallagher at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel in September, 2008, while in Toronto for the Virgin Music Festival. (JENNIFER ROBERTS/Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail)

Man gets house arrest in Oasis attack Add to ...

Danny Sullivan, the man who attacked guitarist Noel Gallagher on a Toronto stage 18 months ago, has been sentenced to twelve months of house arrest.

The sentence, handed down by Mr. Justice Richard Schneider in a Toronto court Wednesday, will allow Mr. Sullivan to leave his home to run his contracting business. He will have an additional four hours a week to conduct personal matters outside the house.

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Mr. Sullivan, 48, had pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm. He admitted he was drunk and didn't know how he got backstage at the Virgin Music Festival in Toronto in September 2008 when he rushed forward from the back of the stage and shoved Mr. Gallagher into a speaker during an Oasis concert.

Mr. Gallagher had three broken ribs as a result of the incident, and the band was forced to cancel concerts in North America and Europe and promotional appearances.

In a victim impact statement read out in court in March, Mr. Gallagher said being attacked on stage left him feeling like he had been hit by a bus.

The Crown had asked for six to eight months of jail time, while Mr. Sullivan's lawyer asked for a conditional non-custodial sentence.

In his ruling, Judge Schneider noted that Mr. Sullivan had no prior run-ins with the law, and he will not be a threat to the community while he is serving the conditional sentence. His behaviour at the concert "was not consistent with anything we know about Mr. Sullivan," the judge said. He declined the Crown's request to put Mr. Sullivan on probation after his sentence is complete.

Mr. Sullivan will not be able to drink alcohol for the duration of his sentence,

Mr. Sullivan, who earlier wrote a letter of apology to Mr. Gallagher, expressed his regret again in the courtroom. "I would like to express my sincere apology to the victim," he said.

He would not say anything further outside the courthouse after the sentencing, but his lawyer John Collins said the sentence "was neither too harsh or too lenient." He said he was happy that his client will not go to jail, as the whole situation has been very stressful to Mr. Sullivan and his family.

"He has demonstrated his contrition, embarrassment, if not shame over what happened," Mr. Collins said.

A video of Mr. Sullivan slamming into Mr. Gallagher has been seen widely on the internet, and resulted in a number of written attacks and even death threats from Oasis fans.

Mr. Gallagher still has a $2-million civil lawsuit outstanding against Mr. Sullivan.



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