TV ‘Egghead’ CJ in court over claims he killed a man

A QUIZ show panellist who grew up in Rotherham appeared at court over claims he killed a man over 20 years ago.

CJ de Mooi, a star of BBC2’s Eggheads, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday.

The quizzer said in his autobiography that 28 years ago he punched a man who was trying to attack him and threw him into an Amsterdam canal.

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The 45-year-old, who studied English and Performing Arts at Rotherham College of Arts and Technology when he was a teenager known as Joseph Connagh, related the story in his book My Journey from the Streets.

He said he had grown up in a violent, racist and homophobic household in Rotherham before moving to London aged 17 and ending up homeless.

The alleged killing happened when he was living rough, he said.

De Mooi, who lives in Wales, appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

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De Mooi was said to be 'shocked' when he was arrested at Terminal Three at Heathrow after arriving from South Africa with his husband of 20 years at 11.30pm.


Dutch authorities had issued a warrant on May 27 as they sought the quiz star for “further questioning” in relation to “manslaughter, murder, assault, and assault by battery”.


He strode into the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court wearing a green hoody over a green t shirt and grey sweat pants.


District Judge Vanessa Baraitser asked: “You want to be known as Mr de Mooi, correct?”


He replied: “That’s right.”


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Asked if he consented to the extradition request, he answered: “I don’t consent.”


Prosecutor Brian Gibbins, on behalf of the Dutch authorities, said: “This is an accusation matter relating to matters of manslaughter, murder, assault and assault by battery.


“It relates to an incident that's said to have taken place in 1988 in Amsterdam and it appears that the defendant, who is a TV personality, wrote an autobiography, and in that autobiography it’s said that the defendant claimed that whilst living in Amsterdam in 1988 he may have killed a drug addict that was attempting to mug him by punching and throwing him into a canal in Amsterdam.


“It’s understood that that person had a knife.


“What's said is that the defendant punched the assailant square in the face, disarmed him and threw him into the canal.”


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He added: “The defendant doesn’t have convictions that are known in this jurisdiction.”


Mr Chris Stevens, defending, said the Dutch warrant was “very very poorly worded”, adding: “There doesn't even appear to be a name of the victim.'


“This is really an enquiry, at most, being made by the Dutch authorities about something which has been raised before them.


“Even reading into what he's written in the book it could be an arguable one of self-defence.”


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De Mooi claims he offered to talk to Dutch cops through Scotland Yard about the wild claims in his book earlier this year.


Mr Stevens said: “I was able to speak with his agent.


“There's correspondence between his agent and New Scotland Yard earlier this year about them coming to speak to officers here.”


He continued: “They [Scotland Yard] said fine, we will pass that over to the Dutch authorities.


“Nothing further was heard back.'


He explained that De Mooi had been in South Africa to pursue his acting career.


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“He was meeting an agent out there to try and get some work in TV and film and his husband is a costume designer, obviously they share an interest there in what they are doing,” Mr Stevens said.


Judge Baraitser granted De Mooi conditional bail after ordering that he must pay a £5,000 security, surrender his travel documents, and keep a mobile phone with him at all times.


He is also required to live and sleep at his house in Wales and cannot go to any ports, airports, or international rail stations before his final hearing on 28 November.


De Mooi, of of Manor Farm, St Brides Netherwent, Caldicot, is not required to attend a case management hearing on October 24.


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