in the back
Justice on the ropes
Unlicensed boxing , Issue 1503
ty-mitchell.jpg
FIGHTING ON: Ty Mitchell, the former professional boxer banned by the regulator after he was jailed for manslaughter
TY MITCHELL, the former professional boxer banned and jailed seven years ago for delivering a killer punch to the head of a promising young student on a night out (Eye 1410), is back in the ring – all with the blessing of his probation supervisors.

Freed on licence after serving only three years in prison for the manslaughter of 19-year-old Leeds university student Jagdip Randhawa, Mitchell is banned by the regulator the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) but has been able to resume fighting in the unlicensed world of “white collar and semi-pro” boxing.

Earlier this month, at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, he swiftly knocked out “ultimate bare knuckle” fighter Ben Croft (who himself served a jail term on remand before being acquitted of killing Daniel Walsh in a street fight). Fresh from that victory, Mitchell is something of a social media boxing star, giving interviews and promoting a so-called “Eight man, 16 fists, one-night time-fighter championship” (prize money: £15,000) at Brentwood Centre in Essex on 31 August.

‘I need to fight’
In an online video talking about his desire to regain his professional licence, he says: “I am a fighter and I need to fight. It’s the only way I know how to make a living.” The distress caused to Jagdip’s family was evidently lost on Mitchell when he suggested that one reason he needs his boxing licence is that he is “a level above” his current opponents and is in danger of hurting them.

A condition of Mitchell’s release on licence from jail, however, is that he doesn’t fight for money. But when Jagdip’s family provided evidence of the public-paying fights to the National Probation Service (NPS), they were told that boxing was Mitchell’s “hobby” and the boxer was giving away any fight fees or winnings to a “charity” – or, as his father, former pro heavyweight Clifton Mitchell, explained in another online clip, to an “organisation”.

When the Randhawa family further complained that this simply allowed Mitchell to dodge the licence terms, the NPS sought to reassure them that it had put an “endorsement” (ie a warning) on Mitchell’s licence over a failure to be able to properly prove that funds from one match had gone to a charity. (It is unclear how many matches have been checked.) But as Jagdip’s sister, Manjinder, told the Eye: “That completely misses the point. The Probation Service is simply failing to see the high risk to the general public of allowing him to box in the unlicensed and unregulated arena.”

Violent assault
The aims of an offender being on licence include protecting the public and preventing reoffending, as well as securing the successful reintegration of the individual into the community. The family have now complained to the parliamentary and health service ombudsman.

Eye readers may recall that not only was Mitchell already on bail for another violent assault when he fatally punched Jagdip in 2011, but he had also breached the terms of those bail conditions no fewer than 24 times in the previous five months (including breaching a boxing ban) but had been allowed to keep his freedom. When he was finally jailed the following year, Mr Justice Maddison described him as “dangerous”, adding that it was unfortunate his “promising career” was over, but “being a professional boxer, you have the strength and skill to cause serious harm with your bare fists”.

It seems Mitchell’s promising career is far from over, however. His father and supporters argue that he is a reformed character, and that he has “served his time”. In his online interview, Mitchell himself says he cannot talk too much about the professional licensing issue as it is “sensitive”. But the middleweight implied that he had been in contact with the BBBofC and expected to get his licence back in two years (which the Eye assumes is when his licence from jail runs out), if not before.

The BBBofC says it has had no contact with Mitchell, however, adding: “Any application will be considered on its own merits and any criminal convictions duly considered at the time.”

The Ministry of Justice merely says: “Public protection is our priority and offenders on licence are subject to supervision and strict conditions. Those who fail to comply can be returned to prison.” Meanwhile, Mitchell continues to fight, saying the impending “world first” time-fighter championship is about “everyone being knocked out because you do not get paid for overtime”.

More top stories in the latest issue:

ASLEEP ON THE JOB
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DAM STATISTICS
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CONFLICT OF INTEREST RATES
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HIGH PRINCIPALS
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BRUM TIDINGS
Staff at Edgbaston Park hotel, owned by the University of Birmingham, complain of poor conditions and low pay – but the UoB doesn’t want to know.

AFGHAN POUNDS
More on the flagrant disregard for tax and company law by the Afghan-run network that controls a string of dubious souvenir shops in London’s West End.

To read all these stories in full, please buy issue 1503 of Private Eye - you can subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale: 3rd September 2019
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