Shadow Gladiators star imprisoned for part of extortion plot

A star wrestler has been jailed for his role in an extortion plot due to a drug debt.

Michael Jefferson King, known as the famous bodybuilder “Shadow” on the ITV game show in the 1990s, was one of four people who held a man in an apartment in Acton, west London.

He described King as a “lieutenant” in the plot, which saw a violent attack on Aaron Ali that lasted nearly eight hours.

I watched him get beaten up and filmed over ‘extremely distressing’ videos that were sent to his family for a payment of up to £1,000 to let him go.

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

King, 60, a long-time cocaine and heroin user, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of racketeering in Isleworth Crown Court.

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

Honorary Judge Fiona Barry said: “The four defendants hatched a scheme 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.”

Michael Jefferson King was Gladiator ‘Shadow’

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

King showed no emotion at the sentencing.

The court heard that Mr. Ali originally appeared at Batson and Harman’s apartment at approximately 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020, due to a bout of drug use.

However, the atmosphere was said to have changed around lunchtime when supplies ran out.

Prosecutor Keith Hardell said: “Things got worse for Mr Ali when Mr. Noel and Mr. King attended.

Jefferson King in 1994

“There appears to be some disagreement regarding a debt that has been reported to be owed. Threats have been made and matters have been compromised.

“Requests were made from him (Mr Ali) and threats that money should be paid for a drug debt to a third party.

You have been subjected to threats. It was decided, because he had no money to pay the required debt, that demands would be made from his estranged wife. ”

The court heard that Bateson telephoned Mr Ali’s estranged wife, as Mr Ali could be heard “swinging in the background”.

During a subsequent phone call, one of the defendants was heard saying, “You know, I’m going to cut off his fingers and ears.”

The person responsible for the comment was not identified.

Hadrel said that Mr. Ali later tried to leave but was prevented by the three men.

The prosecutor said King threatened to break Ali’s knees and asked Noel to bring in a metal rod. Noel refused.

Mr Ali was further detained before being taken to a restaurant near Sainsbury at 9pm, when money – up to £1,000 – was handed over for release by a family friend.

It is not known how much was paid, although the figure was said to be “significant” due to the limited capabilities of the Ali family.

Diluted, King’s defense attorney, Stella Harris, said her client had a promising career as an athlete, but that time in New York in the 1980s exposed him to Class A drugs, which became a “well-established” feature of his life.

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She said: “He was a professional bodybuilder, all through these periods of abstinence and success, but there were setbacks, lost work, wrong relationship, turned to drugs.

“That was the pattern up until this point.”

King, of Birkbeck Grove in Acton, has 20 previous convictions and 39 offenses, largely related to drugs.

Co-defendant Batson, 39, of Burlington Gardens in Acton, west London, received a six-year and nine-month prison sentence on two counts of racketeering.

He could be heard complaining about the length of his sentence as he was taken from the dock.

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 will be sentenced later on Friday.

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