Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Shamed kickboxer Ian Houillebecq misses out on world championships in Brazil
THE kickboxer given a suspended prison sentence for a series of drunken offences against a taxi driver will not now be representing his country at a world championships.
Recorder Tahir Khan QC’s decision not to make Ian Houillebecq serve a 21-month sentence for his actions in the early hours of July 28 caused outrage among taxi drivers and others across England.
The judge said the 23-year-old had “potential for greatness” and heard that he had been selected to go to the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations’ world championships later this month.
But Houillebecq’s coach, Dave Phillips, has now confirmed he decided Houillebecq should not be part of the team sent by his national organisation to Brazil.
“It’s because of the recent trouble he has been in. I told him he couldn’t go. He has not been in the gym,” said Mr Phillips, of Legions Gym, York.
Houillebecq has also written a letter of apology to the taxi driver and vowed to stay off alcohol permanently.
York Crown Court heard that Houillebecq, 23, had gone out drinking in York city centre immediately before beginning several weeks’ intensive training with a strict no-alcohol regime running up to the world championships.
He made a racial assault on the taxi driver, forced him to drive around the city, barged into his home, stole his taxi which he wrote off and was eventually stopped and tasered by armed police.
He was remanded in custody and remained behind bars until he was released on September 5.
Mr Phillips said: “He realises what he has done is wrong. He has written a letter of apology to the taxi driver and he won’t be drinking in future.”
Houillebecq had 18 previous convictions of which the last was an assault in January 2012, but, the court heard, was now putting his energies into sport.