Nigerian-born professional rugby player, Daniel Igbinedion, has been jailed for brutally assaulting his girlfriend and threatening to kill her in the UK.
The 26-year-old former West Yorkshire rugby league player was sentenced to three years and three months in jail for charges bordering on controlling and coercive behaviour and three charges of assault on Tuesday, December 21.
According to his girlfriend, Katy Lyles, 35, she suffered different forms of abuse from Igbinedion during the 18 months they dated.
Speaking after he was sentenced to jail, Lyles said they met when he became her personal trainer at her local gym.
She said she thought he was a decent guy when she first met him but he quickly became possessive and jealous.
“About six months into our relationship he became physically violent, and showed me that he had a very evil side to him.
“He made threats which made me scared of what he would do to me and my family. He held me prisoner and followed me everywhere. He proposed to me and even promised that he would never harm me again – if I accepted a promise ring from him. I rejected his proposal and then, months later, he tried to kill me.”
He reportedly dragged her out of a club on one occassion, and forcefully removed her SmartWatch so she wouldn’t be able to call 999 before threatening her with a blade.
On another occasion, he was said to have picked her up and slung her over his shoulder to carry her out of a Christmas party in Liverpool in 2018.
He was also said have pursued her car erratically and aggressively to the point that she considered taking her own life.
According to the 35-year-old insurance broker, she now suffers flashbacks, anxiety and sleepless nights, having been scarred by the various incidents.
Ms Lyles said: “He tried to kill me. He tried to strangle me. Daniel pointed a knife at me.”
The court later heard that Igbinedion had suffered from mental health issues and had undertaken an anger management course while in custody.
Igbinedion, who was arrested in December 2020, carried out the abuse between May 2018 and March 2020.