Gladiators star Shadow jailed for torturing man in blackmail plot

Gladiators star Shadow jailed for torturing man in blackmail plot
Michael Jefferson King has been jailed for six years and three months

Gladiators star Shadow, whose real name is Michael Jefferson King, has been jailed for six years and three months for his role in a blackmail plot.

The 61-year-old threatened to break a man’s legs with a hammer and demanded £1,000 from his ex-wife and brother for his safe return.

Shadow was one of the most popular stars of the hit ITV series, but was axed from the show in 1995 after issues with drug-taking.

The incident happened in March last year when Aaron Ali, 40, was imprisoned at a flat in Acton, west London, a court heard today.

A group, including King, held Mr Ali as part of a sustained six-hour attack in the property.

Mr King admitted two counts of blackmail, as did another defendant, Simon Batson, 39.

Donna Harman, 41, and Otis Noel, 43, were also convicted of false imprisonment and two counts of blackmail.

Judge Fiona Barrie told Isleworth Crown Court: “Mr Ali attended the home of Mr Batson and Ms Harman to share drugs, and all four of the defendants were present at the address eventually.

“He said initially everything was fine but when the drugs ran out the atmosphere changed. He was told to borrow money from his wife to buy more drugs but he refused.

“Then he said the mood became ugly. Within a very short space of time a plan was hatched to extort money from Mr Ali and his family.

“He described during the trial how he was subjected to a sustained and brutal attack which continued over several hours from approximately midday to 9pm that evening.

“He said he was constantly tortured by the group.”

Mr Ali was gagged with a sock that was placed in his mouth and secured with exercise bands bound around his head, as he was repeatedly punched and kicked.

The victim’s ex-wife, Nosheen Zarait, and his brother Tariq Ali were sent videos of him in agony from his own phone and told to pay £1,000 for his safe return.

Prosecutor Keith Hadrill said that at one stage Mr Ali managed to escape but was caught by the three men.

“Mr King was instructing Mr Noel to fetch a hammer so he could break his legs and he would not escape again,” Mr Hadrill told the court.

Ele adicionou: “A tissue was placed in his mouth, a gag was used, he was hit with a pole, he was smacked across the bridge of the nose [e] he was repeatedly kicked.”

Finalmente, when Mr Ali’s relatives agreed to hand over the money, he was driven to an exchange area outside a Sainsbury’s store.

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