Gladiator Shadow facing claims he ‘held man captive in blackmail plot’

Tristan Kirk
·1-min read
<p>Jefferson King, 59, is accused alongside three others of assaulting a man they were allegedly holding captive</p> (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Jefferson King, 59, is accused alongside three others of assaulting a man they were allegedly holding captive

(ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Shadow from ITV’s Gladiators is facing a criminal trial over claims he falsely imprisoned a man in an alleged blackmail plot.

Jefferson King, 59, is accused alongside three others of assaulting a man they were allegedly holding captive, in an incident just before the first coronavirus lockdown began last March.

The former bodybuilder — full name Michael Jefferson King — is facing charges of blackmail and false imprisonment, in a case which is due to come to trial later this month.

Shadow was one of the original Gladiators when the show first started in 1992.

King is accused alongside Simon Batson, 38, Donna Harman, 41, and Ottis Noel, 44, of false imprisonment and two charges of blackmail on March 22 last year. It is said they — with Michael Tyson, 54, and Shila Tyson, 53 — “assaulted and unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned and detained” a man.

King, Batson, Harman and Noel, all from Acton, are also accused of “making an unwarranted demand of £1,000 with menaces” from two people. They are being held in custody while the Tysons are on bail. All have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A trial is due to start at Isleworth crown court on January 25. A pre-trial review was held on Monday, and a further review has been set for January 21. At a hearing this week, Judge Robin Johnson said the status of the trial would be reviewed on January 21 to check it can still go ahead.

“In the current climate, there’s quite a lot of change,” he said. “There should be a hearing before the trial just to confirm that public guidance remains the same.”

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