Michael Jefferson King: Former wrestlers star ‘Shadow’ imprisoned for role in extortion plot | UK news

The bodybuilder best known for his starring role on the 1990s TV series Gladiators has been jailed for his part in an extortion plot due to a drug debt.

Michael Jefferson King, better known as Shadow from the ITV game show, was one of four people who held Aaron Ali for hours in an apartment in Acton, west London.

Mr Ali was subjected to an eight-hour ordeal, which included beatings and filming, over ‘extremely distressing’ videos sent to his family for a ransom of up to £1,000.

King, 60, allegedly ordered one of the defendants to “bring a hammer to break his legs” after Mr Ali tried to escape.

The former Gladiators star, who has long used cocaine and heroin, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of racketeering in Isleworth Crown Court on Friday.

Three other defendants, called gang leader Simon Batson, Donna Harman and Otis Noel, were also sentenced for their role in the attack.

Bateson, 39, of Burlington Gardens in Acton, west London, received a six-year and nine-month prison sentence on two counts of racketeering, a month after a judge miscalculated his opponent’s early guilty plea.

Noel, 45, of Wendover Court in Ealing, west London, has been jailed for seven and a half years on two counts of racketeering and one count of false imprisonment.

Harman, a mother of two, 41, who Bateson was said to be “controlled and abused,” was sentenced to four years in prison on two counts of racketeering and one count of false imprisonment for her “lower role” in a crime.

The judgments were handed down in Isleworth Crown Court. pic file

Judge Fiona Barry said: “The four defendants hatched a plan to extort money from Mr Ali’s family.

“He was subjected to a continuous and brutal attack over a period of several hours, and from lunchtime until nine in the evening he said he was tortured by the group.”

She said Mr Ali said he was “treated less than a human being by people he knew, all because of drugs and money”.

King, of Birkbeck Grove in Acton, who was previously convicted of 20 of 39 largely drug-related offenses, showed no emotion at the sentencing.

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