A WARRANT was issued today for the arrest of former reggae star, Finley Quaye, after he failed to appear for sentencing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
The 38-year old singer was due before Sheriff Fiona Reith QC, but when his name was called, he failed to appear.
Defence solicitor, David Patterson, told the Sheriff that Quaye had contacted his firm on Thursday evening asking them to represent him. Mr Patterson said he had not heard from Quaye since and could not explain his absence.
In July of this year, Quaye, who lives in London, pled guilty to a racially aggravated assault on a 36-year old woman in Leith Walk on October 8 last year. The court heard that about 10.30 in the evening the woman was waiting at a bus stop when Quaye approached her and said: “Do you know that this country is a racist country?” He then spat on the woman’s face and hit her on the head.
Quaye’s lawyer on that occasion, Cameron Tait, said Quaye had grown up in the Leith area and had come back to Edinburgh two months before the incident. When people found out who he was, said Mr Tait, he was getting pestered in the street and subjected to racial abuse. On the day of the incident, he had taken Codeine and been drinking in a pub in Leith Walk. When he came out of the pub he had been racially abused and chased up the street by an individual.
Mr Tait said Quaye claimed that in an intoxicated state he had tried to engage in conversation with the woman. He said his memory was clouded, but at one point the woman made an abusive remark to him that he should: “Go back to the hole he had come from”.
Sentence was deferred on Quaye for reports until August, but when he did appear, his lawyer at that time, David Cairns, told Sheriff Reith that he had been put in an “awkward position” as Quaye had not paid his fees, so he was withdrawing from the case. Sheriff Reith deferred sentence again until October 5 to allow Quaye either to pay the fees, get another lawyer or represent himself. She warned him: “You have to be careful to come back on that date. There’s no excuse not to come”.
Quaye had a successful career in the 1990’s with songs such Even After All, Sunday Shining and Your Love Gets Sweeter and his debut album, Maverick A Strike, earned him the 1998 Brit Award for Best Male Solo Artist. In 1997 he won the Mobo Award for the Best Reggae Act. After that, however, his career went downhill.