Former Hartlepool boxing champ denies threats to kill his ex-wife

Ex-boxer Michael Hunter.
Ex-boxer Michael Hunter.

A former champion boxer from Hartlepool has denied allegations he threatened to kill his ex-wife and stab her in the throat.

Michael Hunter, who once held both the British and European super bantamweight titles, appeared in the dock at Teeside Crown Court, to answer a string of offences relating to ex-wife Joanne Hunter.

The 37-year-old, of Eskdale Road, Hartlepool, denied two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one from February 16, 2010, and the second between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013, as well as a charge of assault by beating on the same woman from April 16 of this year.

Hunter, who sat with his arms crossed in the dock, wearing a grey shirt and blue jeans, also entered not guilty pleas to charges of breaching a non-molestation order made to protect Joanne Hunter on April 16, and a charge of putting her in fear of violence by way of harassment, on dates between August 1, 2014, and September 24, 2014.

The court heard that the harassment is alleged to have involved phone calls and texts, as well as a threat to kill the complainant, stab her in the throat and burn her car.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said: “It is indicated that the complaint would request special measures to be in place for the hearing.”

James Withyman, defending, Hunter, said there would be no objection to the request for special measures, which would see the complainant give evidence either behind a screen at court or via a video link.

Judge Peter Armstrong adjourned all matters until trial on July 6. Hunter was granted bail until then.

He is well known after proving himself to be one of the town’s best-ever boxers.

He was beaten only twice in 33 appearances and won eight of his 10 major title contests.