Shadow From Gladiators Jailed For Part In Blackmail Plot

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Shadow From Gladiators Jailed For Part In Blackmail PlotITV/Shutterstock/Met Police

A former Gladiator has been jailed for six years and three months for his role in a kidnapping and blackmail plot.

Shadow – real name Michael Jefferson King – was convicted after pleading guilty to two counts of blackmail in Isleworth Crown Court.


King, 60, was one of four defendants involved in the kidnapping and torture of a man in London, with the court hearing that the group sent ‘highly distressing’ videos of the victim to his family in an attempt to secure a payment of £1,000 for his release.

Shadow (ITV)ITV

Aaron Ali, 40, was held in a flat in Acton, west London, in March of last year, where he was beaten with a metal pole and gagged after an hours-long drugs binge went wrong.

King was described as the ‘lieutenant’ of the plot, and at one point was alleged to have threatened to kneecap the victim, ordering one of the co-defendants to ‘fetch a hammer to break his legs’ after he tried to escape.


A judge said that ‘persistent and relentless’ threats were made to Ali’s wife and brother in an attempt to extort money from them.

At a sentencing hearing earlier today, August 27, Judge Fiona Barrie said:

A plan was hatched by the four defendants to extort money from Mr Ali’s 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.’

He was treated as less than a human by people he knew, all for drugs and money.

Shadow (left) was one of the Gladiators (ITV)ITV

A former professional bodybuilder, King rose to fame in the 1990s as one of the cast of the hit TV show Gladiators, but was fired from the show in 1995 after testing positive for steroids. He’s since struggled with drug addiction and served multiple prison sentences, with The Mirror reporting that King has 20 convictions for 39 offences.

In passing down the sentence, Judge Barrie said that she had taken into account King’s ‘acceptance of responsibility’ and his ‘entrenched drug addiction from [his] teenage years’.

King’s three co-defendents were also sentenced for their involvement in the kidnapping.

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Topics: Film and TV, Crime


The Mirror
  1. The Mirror

    Gladiators' Shadow 'threatened to kneecap blackmail victim with hammer over £1k ransom'

Hannah Smith
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