Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher says he spent months in pain and in rehabilitation after he was knocked to the ground on stage by a so-called fan during a Toronto music festival.
“I would describe the sudden impact and shock as feeling as if I had been hit by a bus,” said the British rock star, who didn’t appear in the Toronto court on Tuesday to face his attacker.
Instead, he had his victim impact statement read by Crown attorney Ruth Kleinhenz-Neilson.
Gallagher said his injuries from the September 2008 incident forced him to cancel concerts in Paris and New York, among other cities.
“The promotional work in connection with the launch of the new album was very important to its success and early sales momentum. This opportunity was lost,” Gallagher said as he described the impact the missed appearances had on the group, which has since disbanded.
The guitarist’s words came at a sentencing hearing for his attacker, Daniel Sullivan, 48, of Pickering, Ont.
Sullivan who pleaded guilty to causing bodily harm, admitted he was drunk and couldn’t remember how he got backstage at the Virgin Music Festival.
Gallagher has also launched a $2-million civil lawsuit against Sullivan.
The eight-month rehabilitation process forced Oasis to cancel five shows and appearances on several television shows, Gallagher said.
Kleinhenz-Neilson said Gallagher, who suffered three dislodged ribs, was attacked in a co-ordinated, intentional manner.
The Crown is seeking a sentence of six to eight months in jail. In court, Kleinhenz-Neilson suggested Sullivan, an amateur actor, had perhaps been seeking his 15 minutes of fame.
“You can’t say ‘I was drunk. I didn’t know what I was doing,”‘ said Kleinhenz-Neilson, arguing Sullivan had the wherewithal to climb through a tiny gap in the stage between speakers in order to attack Gallagher.
Defence lawyer John Collins said his client is a “homebody,” who has accepted full responsibility, feels shame and shouldn’t face anymore punishment.
Collins described the father of three as a “good man who has made one bad mistake in an otherwise exemplary, law-abiding life,” and asked for a conditional sentence, meaning no jail time.
Sullivan returns to court April 21 for sentencing.
In videos taken by fans that went viral on YouTube, Sullivan is seen storming the stage from behind and pushing Gallagher in to some speakers while the band performed their 1995 hit “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory.”
A flailing Sullivan is then tackled by security guards as he approaches Gallagher’s younger brother, singer Liam Gallagher.