Madness Suggs gave character ref for pal – who was still jailed for six months

Madness frontman Suggs went to court to give a character reference for a friend – who ended up getting jailed for six months.

The ska legend, real name Graham McPherson, failed to impress the judge – who remembered the group’s dodgy
antics at a gig two decades earlier.

Suggs’ pal Jimmy was arrested at the 1997 FA Cup Final when they went to Wembley to support Chelsea against Middlesbrough on an open-top bus hired by the singer.

He said: “When we get off, there’s a slight altercation with some coppers and Jimmy gets nicked.”

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But when the case went to court months later, Suggs, 58, thought he could use his celebrity status to get his mate off the hook.

In the band’s new book Before We Was We: Mad-ness By Madness, Suggs said: “I thought, I’ll give him a character reference.

“Everybody knows me. That can’t hurt, can it?

“And before the judge sums up, he’s reading out the character references. He says: ‘Oh, yes, and is this the same Graham McPherson who is also known as Suggs from the pop group, Madness?’

“I said to Jimmy’s son: ‘Don’t you worry about a thing, mate.’

“And I says: ‘Yes.’ Then the judge goes: ‘The same Madness that played Middlesex Polytechnic in 1978, when I was head of the student union, yes?

“And in an act of wanton, drunken thuggery, smashed our new toilet department?”

“I’m thinking: ‘Middlesex Poly? Oh, for f***’s sake, I know where this is going… s***.’

“Jimmy got six months.”

  • FA Cup

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