Oasis singer Liam Gallagher was arrested by Brisbane, Australia, police and released on $6,600 bail today (March 6) after allegedly assaulting a fan in a scuffle outside Quay West, the luxury apartments in which the band was staying.
On the eve of the Oasis' final concert of their first Australian tour, Inspector Brian Nolan of the Brisbane Police Department said the incorrigible frontman for one of England's biggest pop-rock bands head-butted, punched and broke the nose of 19-year-old British tourist Benjamin Jones at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. A fan of Oasis, Jones told police that he had approached Gallagher and asked to take a photo when the alleged assault occurred.
Gallagher, who did not have to enter a plea to the assault charge, is expected to deny the allegations. The summons issued by the Brisbane police requires him to return to Brisbane Magistrates Court for a committal hearing on June 9. According to Nolan, Gallagher faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; the minimum penalty for assault is a fine, community service or time in prison.
Nolan said that Gallagher's bail is higher than normal -- bail is typically set at a few hundred dollars for this type of assault charge -- because police want to make certain that he returns to face the charge. If Gallagher fails to return for his court date, Brisbane police can revoke his bail and issue an arrest warrant.
The band's American label, Epic Records, would offer no comment on the alleged incident, according to label spokeswoman Kathy Reilley.
In assuring the singer's release, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that his attorney, Kelly MacGroarty, told the court that Gallagher would have too much to lose by not returning and that fans at the Brisbane show would likely pay out of pocket for the singer's release if bail was not granted. The newspaper also reported that Gallagher's attorneys planned to fight the charge.
Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge, who reportedly said that Gallagher was not welcome in Queensland, Australia, drew an angry reaction from the singer’s legal team who claimed that the statements undermined the presumption of innocence.
Oasis arrived in Australia last week to headlines over their allegedly
unruly behavior on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Perth, Australia. Media outlets were quick to report on the band's behavior on subsequent flights as well, reports that have been linked to an increase in ticket sales for the Brisbane concert.
Melbourne's Herald Sun also reported that a 24-year-old Sydney
woman, Julia Kerrigan, has alleged that Gallagher harassed her Wednesday evening outside the Criterion Hotel where she had stopped to use a bathroom. The singer was accused of stuffing a dirty tissue down the front of Kerrigan’s blouse after she had told him to "piss off," according to the Herald Sun.
Earlier that same evening, Gallagher was allegedly involved in another incident in which, after upsetting a group of people at a hotel by whistling at one of the women in the party, he had to be restrained by his bodyguard.