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Champion boxer found guilty of assaulting ex

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
Jamie Cox
Jamie Cox

Champion boxer Jamie Cox has been found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend after breaking into her flat.

Cox attacked Viktoria Gribovskaja at her home in Lambeth, south London on July 16 last year after their relationship broke down and he attempted to collect his belongings.

The boxer said he had "barged" through her front and bedroom doors because he feared she "could kill herself", which he said she had previously threatened to do.

Cox, the WBO European super-middleweight champion, also denied harassing her in the days before the attack by sending abusive text messages and assaulting her by placing his hands around her neck, leaving her with "redness".

He was heard in a recording of a 999 call, made by Ms Gribovskaja before he arrived, to say: "I will knock you spark out."

Magistrates said they found the victim's account of the confrontation "credible and convincing" and the 29-year-old's evidence "not credible".

Cox, who appeared in court under his real name Jamie Russan, was convicted at Croydon Magistrates' Court of assault by beating, violence to secure entry, harassment and criminal damage.

The court heard the relationship, which had lasted for between nine to 12 months, was "coming to a head" one week before Cox was due to fight for the European title.

The pair began dating in 2014 after the Swindon-based boxer met Ms Gribovskaja when she was working as an exotic dancer in a gentleman's club in London.

He had visited her family in Estonia before the incident, Cox said, adding: "I wanted to give her a better life - I loved the girl and wanted her to move to Swindon."

But they had had "ups and downs" and in the lead up to the attack, Cox admitted sending his victim "vulgar language" in text messages as he told her he would visit her flat to pick up some jewellery and other items he had left there.

In one message, he said: "F*** you, I'm coming to London, you slut."

Chair of the bench Mary Marshall said Cox had intended his text messages to Ms Gribovskaja to be "abusive and hurtful".

And she added his claim that he feared she might hurt herself was "inconsistent" with the messages he had sent her.

During his evidence, Cox said, if found guilty, his career "would be very much in tatters if not over".

The court heard Cox, who also won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, was due to fight for a world title and the consequences of assaulting someone would likely result in a suspension of his license.

Nathaniel Ikeazor, defending, said: "Everything he is going to be - a champion of the world, making his country proud - rests on your decision today."

Speaking outside court, Mr Ikeazor said: "My client intends to appeal this at the first available opportunity.

"I am personally shocked and appalled by the court's decision."

Cox was released on conditional bail to return for sentencing at the same court on April 11.