Tennis legend Becker jailed for two and a half years
Grand Slam tennis champion Boris Becker has been jailed for two and a half years for breaching the terms of his bankruptcy.
A court heard that he hid £2.5 million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.
The 54-year-old former world number one and three-times Wimbledon champion was declared bankrupt in June 2017.
Becker, who has latterly worked as a BBC commentator, transferred around £390,000 from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara Becker and estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker.
He was found guilty on 8 April of four Insolvency Act offences between June and October 2017.
He was acquitted on a further 20 charges, including nine counts of failing to hand over his tennis trophies and medals, including two from Wimbledon.
He is expected to serve half of the prison sentence handed to him today by Judge Deborah Taylor at Southwark Crown Court.
In Germany in 2002 he received a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion worth £1.4m.
Handing out her sentence today, Judge Taylor said: “You did not heed the warning you were given and the chance you were given by the suspended sentence and that is a significant aggravating factor.”
Becker’s friend and fellow commentator, the ex-tennis star Andrew Castle, told LBC radio: “Still reeling from the news this Friday afternoon.
“I’m shocked because it’s close to me. I’m sad that his life has come to this and I hope he’s able to rebuild on the other side.
‘If you don’t pay your creditors, you pay the price. It’s the second time this had happened after what happened in Germany back in 2002.
“I thought this was a possibility, but I’m surprised and deeply shocked that I won’t be working with him at Wimbledon this year and that he’s going to go to prison. And I feel sorry for Lilian as well.’