Criminal cleared of blackmailing Middlesbrough businessman dies after falling from window (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Boxer dies in Irish home three years after being acquitted of blackmail with menaces
1:55pm Sunday 6th October 2013 in News
A NOTORIOUS criminal who was cleared of blackmailing a North-East businessman after getting a character reference from boxer Ricky Hatton has died after falling from a window at his Irish home.
William Isaac, known as Billy, was believed to be trying to get into his house through the landing window after forgetting his keys.
A provisional post-mortem examination has suggested he died from asphyxia after getting his head jammed behind a bath.
The boxer, originally from Manchester, was acquitted by a jury at Teesside Crown Court in 2010 of threatening to kill a Teesside businessman if he failed to hand over £2.5m.
He was cleared of blackmail with menaces after being accused of threatening the businessman and his family over a debt.
The verdict followed an eight-day trial in which the jury heard praise for Mr Isaac from colleagues in the boxing world. He was also given a glowing character reference by former world light welterweight champion boxer Ricky Hatton MBE, who said he had helped youngsters.
“He taught them t have respect for others, and helped stop them going down the wrong road,” Mr Hatton said in his statement to the court.
It was claimed that Mr Isaac and three other men walked into the businessman’s Middlesbrough home on September 8, 2009, and threatened to kill him, as well as his wife and children, if he did not pay.
Isaac moved to Ireland after 2007 following his release from a three-year prison sentence for possessing firearms.
Just last month he was convicted of convincing his girlfriend, Siobham Ginty, to beat 31-year-old Lucie Lopecka in April.
Miss Ginty said: “Everyone, including myself, is absolutely heartbroken about what happened.
“He will be deeply missed by everyone, the boxing community, the underworld community, and I’ve lost my fiancé.”
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