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Wednesday 23rd October 2019

Former X Factor finalist Rachel Hylton 'told shop worker to go back to Africa'

She was on the show in 2008

A former finalist on The X Factor reportedly told a shop worker to "go back to Africa" after she was confronted over shoplifting.

Rachel Hylton, who was among the final six contestants on series five in 2008, is believed to have grabbed a man by the neck and poked another employee in the face.

According to reports, 37-year-old Rachel pleaded guilty to stealing £26 worth of food at Croydon Magistrates Court on Thursday (08.08.19).

Rachel pictured a year after her X Factor stint (Credit: SplashNews.com)

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She also pleaded guilty to assaulting a man named Peter Njoku and another person named Abigail Kelly, as well as using racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

The court was told that Mr Njoku saw Rachel putting items in her bag and confronted her about it.

Prosecutor Rahab Njoroge said, as reported by The Mirror: "With the help of a colleague they brought the defendant back into the shop and the defendant was very aggressive.

Rachel spoke about her troubled past on the show (Credit: ITV)

"She grabbed the bag she was carrying and there was a struggle and the defendant was shouting, 'He's a [bleeping] African. You [bleeping] black man. Go back to Africa'.

"She threw a shopping basket towards Mr Njoku and he managed to move away from it and it did not hit him. She was still shouting at Mr Njoku and she grabbed hold of his neck and was removed by other members of staff."

She was still shouting at Mr Njoku and she grabbed hold of his neck.

Speaking further, Mr Njoroge said Rachel "continued to be abusive" but the items were recovered as her shopping bag was taken from her.

Rachel is then reported to have poked Ms Kelly's face.

According to Mr Njoroge, Rachel admitted to shoplifting and throwing the basket, but denied she ever had Mr Njoku by the neck.

While on X Factor, Rachel sparked a flood of viewer complaints after appearing to make a gun gesture while on stage.

Her impressive vocals got her to the final six (Credit: ITV)

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The Telegraph reported that Rachel, then aged 26, pointed her fingers at rival Daniel Evans during a sing-off.

The paper claimed that over 50 complaints were made to ITV and broadcasting regulator Ofcom said it likewise received "a number" of complaints in the wake of the incident.

A spokesman for the X Factor told the Telegraph at the time that Rachel "in no way meant offence" by the gesture.

It follows reports that former X Factor star Danny Tetley has been arrested for allegedly asking a child to send him sexual images.

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