Blue boyband star Lee Ryan has been cleared of assaulting two paparazzi photographers by a London court.

However, the singer has been found guilty on two counts of criminal damage - after smashing the snappers' cameras as they tried to take pictures of him leaving London's 10 ROOMS nightclub - and has been ordered to pay $900 (GBP500) in compensation to cover damage to their equipment.

Ryan admitted attacking the equipment, but his solicitor NICK FREEMAN told HORSEFERRY ROAD MAGISTRATES COURT that paparazzi outside the club were acting like a "pack of wolves" as they attempted to snap the singer leaving the club with 23-year-old TANYA MILLS in December (03).

Mills, who is profoundly deaf, told the court Ryan threatened to break the cameras because she was scared.

Judge CAROLINE TUBBS accepted the argument that Ryan had acted in self-defence and cleared him of assault charges.

Freeman said after the verdict today (12MAY04), "We always said he had behaved reasonably and always disputed the assaults.

"That decision has been vindicated today. He wants to get on with his career and move forward."

12/05/2004 20:58