Gogglebox star who threw a telly and tried to strangle his ex-girlfriend is spared jail
A Gogglebox star who threw a television and tried to strangle his ex-girlfriend in a drunken rage as she begged him not to kill her has avoided jail.
George Gilbey, 34, was convicted of assaulting Gemma Conway at her flat in Twickenham, west London, as their daughter slept upstairs.
The reality TV star, who has also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, was also found guilty of causing around Â£400 worth of damage by throwing lamps, a television and a baby gate at Ms Conway.
Wimbledon Magistrates Court heard that Gilbey, despite his television appearances and brief reality TV fame, is in considerable debt and cannot afford to pay court costs or compensation.
Clea Topoloski, in mitigation for Gilbey, said: 'In so far as compensation and costs are concerned, Mr Gilbey has means which are, to any simple mathematics, in deficit.
'His outgoings far outweigh his incomings.'
But magistrates ordered Gilbey to pay a total of Â£1,105, including compensation for the criminal damage. He must also carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
Chair of the bench John Soones told him: 'It was a sustained assault and we have some evidence of the injuries that you caused. We are going to deal with it today by way of a high level community order.
'This community order will last for 18 months and the order will be a rehabilitation activity of building better relations.
'There will be 40 sessions over 20 days to complete over 18 months.
'You will also carry out 100 hours of unpaid work over 12 months.'
Ms Conway has also taken out a restraining order against Gilbey, with the condition he does not attend her address.
Giving evidence at the trial, Ms Conway said she had been with the electrician for around two and a half years.
Gemma Conway, ex-girlfriend of Gogglebox star George Gilbey
She said: "We had previously lived together but the relationship wasn't working. So I moved in to my own property and he was looking to move back into the area and had rented a room around the corner.
Ms Conway told magistrates that on March 16th this year, she invited some friends over after work for drinks and tapas. Gilbey mentioned he would pop over to greet them after watching the races at the nearby pub he was renting a room over.
After a brief chat he left, Ms Conway claims, but on his way out said to her: 'You and my mum are finished'.
The court heard he returned after her friends had left, and told her she was a "******* b****" before launching his attack.
Ms Conway said: "Then from that point on I remember I had my arms up and he started to attack me with various objects in the room. It can see no rhyme or reason why it happened. I do not know."
"The woman said the star was 'glassy-eyed, stumbling and slurring his words'.
"He gets louder when he gets drunk and he gets very sweary."
Gilbey admitted drinking five small glasses of wine, '˜two or three' double vodka and lemonades and a shot of Jagermeister before the attack.
The court heard he punched Ms Conway '˜around ten times' before hitting her with household objects and throwing them at her. He is then said to have strangled her with both hands and trashed her flat as she lay bleeding.
The court saw pictures of 'strangulation marks' on Ms Conway's neck and bruising on her arms.
Images of the chaos allegedly caused by Gilbey in the flat showed a blood stained grey sofa with furniture and other belongings strewn across the room.
Ms Conway said: "My arms were very swollen and lumpy. The bruising and marking didn't come out til a few days later. My arms went black.
"I was trapped on the corner of the sofa I couldn't move my legs, they were going up in the foetal position.
"He was just throwing things at me. At one point he had his hands around my threat. The whole time he was just calling me a ******* bitch."
Beginning to sob, she told the court: "It panicked me as I could feel the strangulation.
"When the TV came on me I thought 'I'm in real trouble here'.
"I said to him 'please don't leave my baby without her mum'."
Gilbey said he became embroiled in an argument with his ex because she became jealous when he greeted her friends with a kiss and a hug.
He told Wimbledon Magistrates's Court: "I got a bit worried.
"The reason we split up in the first place had been various outbreaks about other women which wasn't helped at all by my presence in the media.
"It was a massive problem."
Gilbey said he had 'no idea' how Ms Conway's injuries were caused - an account which was rejected by Magistrates.
After his conviction, he maintained his innocencr to a probation service officer, it was said.
Ms Topolski, defending, said: 'Mr Gilbey has maintanced his innocence even though he has been found guilty at the trial. But he does express remorse which the author of the pre-sentence report finds genuine
'Remorse he feels to be sentenced by this court and also that the relationship with the mother of his only child has broken down.'
The court heard Mr Gilbey now intended to instruct a family solicitors to apply for a court order that would set '˜boundaries and parameters' for how he would see his daughter.
Ms Topolski said: 'He is a man with responsibility by way of his child and future employment. He has a certain amount of celebrity and support by those who know him best within that community.'
Magistrates' were handed a character reference from a charity worker at '˜Celebrity FC', an organisation that invites celebs to play football to raise money for small charities.
Ms Topolski said: 'She was surprised to learn about this. This set of behaviour is totally out of character and she supports him still.
'She supports him fully and welcomes him back to attend further celebrity football matches in the future.'
The professional telly watcher returned to his parent's home after the incident earlier this year.
He shares one daughter with Ms Conway, who is turning two this month.
Gilbey, of Clear Point, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, was convicted of assault by beating and criminal damage and was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work over 12 months and 40 sessions of '˜Building Better Relations' activities over 18 months.
He was also made the subject of a restraining order and to pay a total of Â£1105 - compensation of Â£400, legal costs of Â£620 and a victim surcharge of Â£85.