Cage fighter jailed over threats to burn down ex-partner's house

Karl Etherington
Karl Etherington
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A cage fighting champion known as the Wrecking Machine has been jailed for sending abusive messages to his ex.

Karl Etherington who fights in mixed martial arts around the world has been jailed for 20 weeks after he admitted sending offensive and menacing messages to his ex partner.

In a drunken rage, the 41 year-old - who was once in line for the British Olympic Judo team before he turned to mixed martial arts - sent messages to his ex threatening her life and saying he would burn down her home.

Etherington was the subject of a suspended jail term when he committed the offences, Blackpool magistrates heard.

That had been imposed when he hit a man in a bar and assaulted a traffic warden by placing a parking ticket on his head.

His barrister Julie Taylor told magistrates: "He admits making the threats but says he would never have carried them out.

“He runs a gym business employing four people and is about to take over a gym at Blackpool Football Club where he again will be employing people.”

As well as imposing the 20 week jail term, magistrates ordered Etherington to pay a £115 victim’s surcharge and imposed a 12 month restraining order forbidding him to contact his former partner or go near her home or business.

After the hearing his legal team said he would appeal the sentence.