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Boy George jailed for 15 months over bizarre false imprisonment

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Boy George was jailed for 15 months on Friday following his conviction for falsely imprisoning a male escort in his flat.

The flamboyant former Culture Club frontman (real name George O'Dowd) claimed he handcuffed his victim, Audun Carlsen, to a wall in a bid to retrieve stolen photos from a laptop. Carlsen and O'Dowd hooked up via a gay social-networking site before meeting up for a pornographic photo session at O'Dowd's Shoreditch flat, during which Carlsen supposedly swiped the photos.

O'Dowd, 47, invited Carlsen back to the flat two weeks later only to tie him down, with the assistance of a second man, and beat him. Carlsen, 29, testified that he was manacled to a bed but succeeded in freeing himself from captivity and fleeing into the street wearing only boxer shorts and trainers and still attached to the handcuffs.

A jury rejected arguments that fears about blackmail justified O'Dowd's action, finding him guilty of false imprisonment.

In a sentencing hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, Judge David Radford said: "Whilst I accept that Mr Carlsen's physical injuries were not serious or permanent, in my view there can be no doubt that your premeditated callous and humiliating handcuffing and detention of Mr Carlsen shocked, degraded and traumatised him."

O'Dowd, who these days works as a DJ, famously served out a community service order in New York after he was convicted of filling a false burglary report. He was also convicted of drug offences in the UK ten years ago.

The BBC has a fuller write-up of the sentencing hearing here. ®

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