The estranged wife of Sir Paul McCartney has said she hopes the press will leave her alone after a photographer was found guilty of assaulting her.

Jay Kaycappa, 32, was convicted after a court heard how the freelance photographer grabbed Heather Mills' right shoulder in order to spin her around and get a shot of her.

During a three day trial at Brighton magistrates' court it emerged that the incident happened as Mills cycled near her home in Hove – a short distance from the East Sussex seaside town.

Her lawyers revealed that the encounter with Kaycappa occurred in a subway after she became separated from a group of friends, including her personal trainer, while trying to avoid the paparazzi.

Kaycappa was also convicted of assaulting Mills' friend Mark Payne the day after the incident on July 5th 2006.

Prior to his conviction, Mills had told the court that she had brought the legal action on behalf of other celebrities who were continually harassed by the media.

The 39-year-old former model has been under intense media scrutiny since the break-up of her marriage to former Beatle Sir Paul, with whom she has a three-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

Commenting following yesterday's court hearing, at which she was not present, Mills' spokesman Phil Hall said: "Heather is delighted that justice has been done and hopes that the photographers who pursue her on a daily basis will now leave her and her daughter alone."

12/07/2007 06:22:02