Former X Factor girl gets jail warning from judge

PAIGE FLAHERTY ... has been told she should expect a spell behind bars.
PAIGE FLAHERTY ... has been told she should expect a spell behind bars.

A FORMER X Factor contestant has been warned by a judge that she may end up behind bars.

Paige Flaherty was given a suspended prison sentence last April after she mowed down a pedestrian in a stolen car - who later spotted her auditioning on the ITV show.

The 20-year-old was warned she must keep out of trouble or the sentence could be activated.

Flaherty was back at Newcastle Crown Court today, where she admitted a charge of fraud in relation to an O2 payment, which happened before the driving offences.

But she also faces sentence for a theft, which happened after she was given the chance to keep her freedom last April.

Flaherty will be back in court in July to be sentenced for both offences.

No details of the fraud or theft were given during the hearing.

Judge Penny Moreland warned her: “You will have been warned that if you breached the suspended sentence you are liable to serve the period of imprisonment that was suspended.

“That, I have to warn you, is the most likely outcome.”

Flaherty was granted bail until she learns her fate next month.

The singer had been given the suspended jail term last April after she ploughed into Chris Brown in her bandmate’s pink Mini as he crossed the road and, after taking him to hospital, gave a false name when they exchanged details.

Mr Brown, who suffered soft tissue injury to his leg, thought the trail had “gone dead” in trying to find her until he saw Flaherty - and the pink Mini that hit him - with her band Twisted on the ITV talent show.

Flaherty, who held just a provisional driving licence, was arrested and picked out by Mr Brown at an identity parade.

Flaherty was also convicted of taking another pal’s car without permission and drove it from Newcastle to her Jarrow home.

Flaherty, of Fife Avenue, Jarrow, went on to plead guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, taking without the owners’ consent and two charges of driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and no insurance.

She was given a sentence of six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with a three-month night time curfew and a two-year driving ban.

She now faces the prospect of the six-month jail term being activated, on top of any sentence she could receive for the theft and fraud charges.

Flaherty’s band Twisted hit the headlines after the X-Factor judge Kelly Rowland told band member Chrissie Pitt, from South Shields, South Tyneside, to ditch the rest of the band and continue as a solo artist.

Miss Pitt chose to leave the girl group, leaving the other members, including Cheryl Moody, Flaherty and Miss Orrock, furious and out of the competition.

Last year, the threesome came back as Kissabeat, covering Jessie J’s Domino for a competition with Sky’s Starz TV.

The band won the contest, which saw the threesome record their own song Just Jealousy.

But when the song was released, Flaherty’s vocals were erased from the final version.