Former Gladiator Pleads Guilty to Blackmail Plot

Jefferson King who was Shadow admits part in kidnapping scam

Jefferson King after his most recent arrest
Jefferson King after his most recent arrest. Picture: Metropolitan Police


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The Acton-based former star of the nineties TV show is facing a jail sentence after pleading guilty to his involvement in a blackmail plot.

Jefferson King played Shadow in the hugely popular Saturday night show. The former bodybuilder was sacked after testing positive for steroids in 1995 and addiction to heroin and crack cocaine led to the loss of his home, a number of prison sentences and estrangement from his family.

After a period in rehab he managed to get off the drugs and resumed his relationship with his children and worked as a drug rehabilitation counsellor but more recently his problems have resumed and last March he was charged with heroin possession.

Formerly 18-stone and heavily muscled he now has lost a significant amount of weight and looks gaunt in the picture released by the police.

The court was told that in March last year, a group had been smoking drugs, when a plot to raise money was hatched. 40-year-old Aaron Ali was detained at a flat in Acton and his mother Nosheen Zarait and brother Tariq were called and told they needed to pay £1,000 if they wanted to see him again according to the prosecution. Mr Ali was allegedly tied up and gagged and repeatedly punched and kicked while being kept captive for over 6 hours.

Jefferson King during his time on Gladiators. Picture: Facebook

Along with another man called Simon Batson, King has admitted two charges of blackmail at Isleworth Crown Court. They have been remanded in custody pending the conclusion of the trial of the other alleged blackmailers.

42-year-old Donna Harman, 45-year-old Otis Noel, and Michael Tyson and his wife Shila, both aged 55, have all denied charges including false imprisonment, blackmail and aiding and abetting false imprisonment.


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April 15, 2021

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