NewsCrime World

Champion boxer jailed for attacking ex-girlfriend

Jamie Cox
Jamie Cox

Champion boxer Jamie Cox has been jailed for more than six months for breaking into his ex-girlfriend's flat and grabbing her around the throat.

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.

Viktoria Gribovskaja

The Swindon-based boxer, who appeared in court under his real name Jamie Russan, was convicted of assault by beating, violence to secure entry, harassment and criminal damage.

The victim was awoken in the early hours of the morning by Cox forcing his way into her flat, prompting her to call 999, before he broke through her bedroom door.

Alex Slater, prosecuting, said Ms Gribovskaja told police she was "frightened" of Cox because he was a boxer.

He said: "Viktoria said she had never been so scared in her life. She thought he was going to kill her.

"She had seen Jamie react angrily before but never as badly as this."

At his trial last month, Cox said he had "barged" through Ms Gribovskaja's front and bedroom doors because he feared she "could kill herself", and he denied putting his hands on her.

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

The WBO European super-middleweight champion was heard in a recording of a 999 call, which lasted 21 minutes, to say: "I will knock you spark out."

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

Nathaniel Ikeazor, representing Cox, told Croydon Magistrates' Court the boxer regretted the incident.

He said: "Jamie is remorseful as to how his actions affected Victoria and affected the relationship thereafter.

"Jamie, throughout this incident, has been quite depressed it has to be said.

"This incident has gone some way to damaging everything he has worked for all his life."

He was the "breadwinner" for his family, including his mother and sister, Mr Ikeazor said, adding his boxing licence had been suspended.

Chair of the bench Carole Markham said the offence was "serious" and only a custodial sentence could be considered.

"It was a violent attack on a victim in her own home. You grabbed her around the throat with force," she said.

"She was harassed by you with threats of violence that caused her distress."

Cox was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison for the assault and harassment charges, 20 weeks for violence to secure entry and 12 weeks for criminal damage, to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay £1,105 in compensation to his victim and court costs.

Cox, wearing a grey blazer and black jumper over a white shirt and dark tie, showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.

He was also given a restraining order barring him from contacting his victim indefinitely.

Speaking outside court, his trainer of ten years, John Costello, said his legal team would appeal the decision.

He said: "Jamie will be in the crown court in two weeks' time and we are confident he will clear his name.

"Jamie did not physically assault anybody. There was no evidence of an assault.

"This is a breakdown of a relationship between two people - they have been seeing each other for 12 months and when there is a breakdown of a relationship things get said. There was no harassment.

"Jamie respects the justice system, and so do I, but the justice system has let Jamie Cox down today in a massive way."

He added Cox, who is ranked fourth in the world and was due to fight for a world title eliminator, will get a suspension from boxing for the duration of his sentence.

"Everything he's worked towards has just been thrown in the bin, thrown down the drain," Mr Costello said.

A spokesman for the British Boxing Board of Control confirmed Cox's licence had been suspended and the boxer will have to reapply at the end of his sentence.