Edinburgh crime: Musician Finley Quaye who smashed up Edinburgh cafe avoids jail
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Pop star Finley Quaye has escaped a jail sentence after admitting to smashing up his former partner’s Edinburgh cafe.
Quaye broke open the front door of Rena Gawa’s business and, after entering the premises uninvited, he threw chairs and flowers before breaking a number of glasses. The BRIT Award-winning artist was arrested after witnesses in a neighbouring shop overheard the commotion and he spent the weekend in police custody following the incident on July 15 this year.
Quaye, 49, then pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards Ms Gawa and to wilfully or recklessly destroying property when he appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Both offences were said to be aggravated by the abuse of a partner, or ex-partner.
The Sun Is Shining singer was back in the dock for sentencing on Monday, September 25, where a sheriff was told Quaye turned up at the cafe in an emotional state at around 9am. The court heard the door frame at the premises was left “splintered” by Quaye and he proceeded to damage the property within.
Lawyer Cameron Tait, defending, told the court his client had arrived in Edinburgh to speak to Ms Rawa after suffering a family bereavement. Mr Tait said Quaye also phoned the police himself and the court was told he was said to be “incoherent” during the 999 call.
The solicitor said Ms Rawa was not seeking a non-harassment order and despite the couple’s romantic relationship being over she still wanted to be friends with her ex. Mr Tait added: “He was struggling and things boiled over.” The court was also told Quaye is currently addressing his longstanding substance misuse by attending sessions with help groups Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
Sheriff Matthew Auchincloss offered his sympathies to Quaye, currently of Kensington, London, on his bereavement and sentenced him to a 12 month supervision order. The sheriff also agreed not to impose a non-harassment order.
The 90s pop star has a string of previous convictions including causing criminal damage following a bust up with a London bus driver in June 2020. Quaye was also spared a jail sentence when he appeared at Westminster Magistrate’s Court in 2019 after he threatened to shoot a bar manager after a performing at a gig.
He admitted to punching Robert Jenei in the face, attacking a car and shouting racist abuse after playing at London’s Troubadour venue and was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation order.
Quaye was also found guilty of a charge of aggravated assault following an incident in Edinburgh in 2012. He was sentenced to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work, and later the same year the singer was declared bankrupt with a tax debt of £383,000.
Edinburgh-born Quaye's 1997 album Maverick a Strike went double platinum and he landed the MOBO Award for best reggae act the same year. Quaye was awarded the Best British Male Solo Artist at the BRITs in 1998 and was praised for his laid-back synergy of musical styles combining styles like roots reggae and trip-hop. Quaye also has a notable musical heritage as son of composer Cab Kaye and half-brother of Elton John's guitarist Caleb Quaye.