Boris Becker - Tennis Great Says A Prisoner Tried To Kill Him While He Was In Jail In The UK
A tennis great says a prisoner tried to kill him while he was in jail in the UK. Boris Becker, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, claimed in an interview that was broadcast on Tuesday by the German television channel Sat 1 that a "inmate tried to kill" him while he was locked up in a British prison.
The Prison Incident
When he was only 18 years old, the inmate at Huntercombe prison who Becker only refers to by his first name, John, had already been incarcerated for more than 16 years at the time of the murders of two people.
Becker reported that John made a threat to sexually assault a German inmate at one point. According to John, the German's friendship with other inmates of a different race upset John. Becker stated that John made the threat. John had verbally described the physical harm that was going to be done to him in the future.
Becker said when recalling the confrontation:
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I was shaking so bad. I shouted loudly and immediately the inmates came out and threatened him.
- Boris Becker
Becker claims that when he screamed for assistance, a group of approximately ten other prisoners, the vast majority of whom were black, came to his aid and protected him. When the prisoners arrived, they ordered John to leave immediately or face the consequences of his actions, which included being beaten.
He was dangerous. He couldn’t understand why I was so connected with Black prisoners.
- Boris Becker
Becker continued by saying that "prison world is a bit different," describing how John later "asked him for forgiveness" and an opportunity to reconcile their differences. "I hugged him and told him I had great respect for him."
Becker was given a sentence of two and a half years in prison in April after being found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act that were related to his bankruptcy case in 2017. The judge who handed down the sentence was Deborah Taylor of Southwark Crown Court.
Becker, now 55 years old, claims that a fellow inmate at the Wandsworth prison in London attempted to blackmail him and "wanted my money." Becker served the first weeks of his sentence there after being convicted.
Once more, he asserts that other inmates have shielded him from any potential for physical harm. CNN's request for a comment from the United Kingdom's Prison and Probation Service was not immediately met with a response.
Becker also disclosed that a number of well-known friends, including Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, had expressed interest in paying him a visit in jail.
I am quite good friends with Jürgen Klopp.
- Boris Becker
According to Becker, the authorities at the prison told him that Liverpool's manager "is not allowed to visit you because he is too well known. We are afraid for his safety, and we don’t want the hype."
Just A Number
After having served his sentence of eight months in prison, the former men's tennis world No. 1 is now residing in Germany.
Becker added, who was originally due to serve half his sentence in jail:
In prison, you are a nobody. You are just a number. Mine was A2923EV. And they don’t give a sh*t who you are. I think I have rediscovered the person in me that I once was. I have learned a hard lesson, a very expensive one, a very painful one. But the whole thing has taught me something important and good. And some things happen for a reason.
- Boris Becker
Becker's time spent behind bars caused him to "really reflect on his life." "It's important for you to understand that Boris Becker has been in the public eye ever since he was 17 years old.
Becker was incarcerated in Wandsworth for the first few weeks of his sentence. Becker expressed his apprehension to Gatjen about the possibility of being placed in a communal detention facility.
According to reports, Becker spent the first four days without contact with the outside world and was locked in his cell around the clock, with one hour of exit per day. During this time, he was only permitted to leave his cell for a single hour.
Becker was reportedly transferred from Wandsworth to Huntercombe prison in Oxfordshire in May. When he won Wimbledon at the age of 17, the German made tennis history. He went on to win five more grand slam titles over the next 11 years.
He remained active in the tennis world after retiring, most notably as Novak Djokovic's coach and through frequent media appearances as a commentator and pundit.
Becker was accused of "playing the system with bad faith" by concealing and transferring assets in his April court case, and of depriving creditors of more than £2 million ($2.51 million) in assets.
Becker had previously denied all charges, claiming that he had cooperated with the bankruptcy proceedings.