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A bodybuilder famous for his starring role in 1990s television programme Gladiators has been jailed for his part in a blackmail plot over a drugs debt.
Michael Jefferson King, known to millions as Shadow from the ITV game show, was one of four people who kept a man detained in a flat in Acton, west London, during a torturous attack lasting around eight hours.
King was described as a “lieutenant” to the plot, which ended in the man being beaten and filmed for “highly distressing” videos sent to his family to elicit a payment of up to £1,000 to let him go.
At one stage, King was alleged to have ordered a co-defendant to “fetch a hammer to break his legs” after the man tried to flee.
King, 60, a long-time user of crack cocaine and heroin, was handed a sentence of six years and three months after admitting two counts of blackmail at Isleworth Crown Court.
Three other defendants, so-called ringleader Simon Batson, Donna Harman, and Otis Noel, were also sentenced for their role in the plot.
The judge, Her Honour Judge Fiona Barrie, said: “A plan was hatched by the four defendants to extort money from the victims family.
“He was subjected to a sustained and brutal attack over several hours, and from lunchtime until 9pm he said he was tortured by the group.”
She said the victim said “he was treated as less than a human by people he knew, all for drugs and money”.
King showed no emotion as the sentence was passed.
Watch: Whatever happened to the Gladiators?