• Boxing

Former heavyweight champion Hide jailed for selling cocaine

ESPN staff
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Herbie Hide won the WBO Heavyweight Championship for a second time in 1997 © Mark Thompson/Allsport
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Former heavyweight champion Herbie Hide has been jailed for 22 months for agreeing to sell cocaine in a sting operation by the Sun on Sunday.

Hide, who became WBO champion in 1994 and 1997, saw his sentence reduced at Cambridge Crown Court due to entrapment tactics used by the newspaper, whose 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood had met the 42-year-old in January and February.

Hide has previously been convicted of criminal damage, battery, threatening behaviour and carrying a knife. His lawyer though said: "I hesitate to say this, but it is a case of Jekyll and Hyde - far from his public persona, he is a shy man and a vulnerable man and was ripe for the picking by experienced and professional men like Mr Mahmood.

"I'm not here to criticise the paper for its conduct but this is not a case where the Sun has in any way unearthed a massive conspiracy.

"This was not a case of crime fighting or exposing a criminal, this was a case of selling newspapers.

"If anybody instigated this offence, it was Mr Mahmood and his assistant."

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