Boxer assault probe dropped

Michael Jennings - boxer
Michael Jennings - boxer

The 33-year-old former British and WBU champion was accused of a section 39 assault by beating in relation to an incident in April involving his partner Zoe Butler.

However on Monday, the father-of-three’s legal team received a letter from the Crown Prosecution Service saying the case was being discontinued.

Jennings, who famously took on four-time world champion Miguel Cotto at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2009, said the case should never have gone as far as it did.

Speaking to the Guardian he said: “Celebrate is the wrong word. I knew this would happen because I hadn’t done anything wrong. “It was on the front page (at the time) and I got a lot of negative things from it.

“It should never have got as far as the papers. I would not condone domestic violence. That why it was so hurtful to me.

“I’m a professional boxer. That’s why the suggestion was so damaging.

“It got put on boxing forum websites and I even got a text message from someone in Australia.”

He said his relationshp with his long-term partner Zoe was fine.

“There’s no problem between me and Zoe,” he said. “Now I’m just looking forward to getting back into the ring.

“I think it will be in September and that will give me enough time te get ready with a clear head.”

His solicitor David Edwards, of Stanley H Cross & Co, in Chorley, said his client had been coompletely ‘exonerated’.

He said: “Following my representations to the CPS I received a notice of discontinuance from them on Monday.

“The letter said there was not enough evidence to provide a realistic chance of conviction.

“It’s been a difficult time for Michael. I think the decision vindicates what I and Michael thought all along - and that was that there was no substance to the allegation.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to get back in the ring soon and continue to be a role model for the youth of Chorley.”

As well as boxing, Jennings is known locally as the drummer in a band called The Shoks.

A CPS spokesperson said: ““Following a recent review of the evidence in this case by a senior crown prosecutor, we have concluded that there is no longer sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction at court.

“All cases are subject to a continuous review by the CPS as they proceed to trial and in carrying out a further review of the available evidence in this case we have concluded that there is no longer sufficient evidence to continue the prosecution.

“We have therefore informed the complainant, defence and court that we will not be proceeding with it.”