Boris Becker’s life ‘ruined’ by bankruptcy conviction, says lawyer
Boris Becker’s life and career has been ruined by the “public humiliation” of his criminal prosecution, his barrister argued in an impassioned plea for the tennis great to be spared prison on Friday.
The 54-year-old BBC pundit and former Wimbledon champion has been convicted of hiding assets and a loan from creditors after he was made bankrupt in June 2017.
Facing the prospect of a lengthy prison term, Becker’s barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC urged Judge Deborah Taylor to imposed a suspended prison term as he has already endured extreme suffering.
“Boris Becker has literally nothing and there’s nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers. That is termed as nothing short of a tragedy,” he argued.
Boris Becker - In pictures
“His fall is not simply a fall from grace and amounts to the most public of humiliations to this man.
“The degree of suffering – and it will continue – is punishment no other bankrupt in this country is likely ever to experience.
“The attention of the press and the deeply unattractive scenes outside this court, particularly this morning, stand as testament to that.”
Speaking of Becker’s future, Mr Laidlaw said: “In reality, there is not one. This process has destroyed his career entirely, and removed any future prospect of him earning an income.
“His reputation, an essential part of the brand which gives him work, is in tatters.
“He won’t be able to find work and will have to rely on the charity of others if he is to survive. I ask you please to suspend the sentence of imprisonment you must inevitably impose for these offences.”
He told the court a bank where Becker took out a multi-million pound, high interest loan prior to his financial downfall has already seized a sprawling Mallorca home worth almost £10 million.
“This defendant has now lost literally everything,” said Mr Laidlaw.
“He has already paid an extremely high price for the mismanagement of his financial affairs, for which he had no one to blame but himself, and also for this offending.”
The court heard the bankruptcy proceedings are still ongoing, with nearly £50 million of claims made on Becker’s estate and just over £3 million paid.
“He will lose any interest in any property or assets he has”, Mr Laidlaw said of Becker’s futute.
Judge Taylor is due to pass sentence on Friday afternoon.