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North Devon martial arts instructor Matt Fiddes pleads guilty to summons charge

By This is NorthDevon  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

Matt Fiddes

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A celebrity bodyguard has admitted issuing a bogus court summons during his divorce - after a judge told him he would not send him to jail.

Martial arts instructor Matthew Fiddes - who is a former minder and friend of the late Michael Jackson - sent the fake summons to a Nigel Griffiths in North Devon.

Fiddes, aged 33, who was described in court as 'effectively of good character' admitted the offence when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court.

His barrister Richard Crabb asked the judge for an indication as to the maximum sentence he would impose if he admitted the single charge.

Mr Crabb said: "He is a successful businessman who is extremely concerned about losing his liberty."

Judge Francis Gilbert QC assured him that he need not 'worry about that' and said the maximum sentence would be eight months jail suspended for two years and 'some fines and costs'.

The court heard the maximum for this offence is seven years but Mr Crabb said there were no guidelines about this particular offence.

The case was not opened or mitigated and the judge adjourned sentence for reports until February 22nd. Fiddes was bailed.

Fiddes, of Hunters Moon, Barnstaple, North Devon, admitted the charge 'between January 26th and February 9th 2012 you falsely pretended to act under the authority of the court in that you caused to be delivered to Nigel Griffiths papers which falsely purported to be a summons of the county court, knowing it to be false."

Mr Crabb said the offence arose at a time when he was acting in person in divorce proceedings.

Fiddes runs martial arts schools around Britain and has acted as bodyguard and personal trainer to a string of celebrities including the Jacksons and Peter Andre.

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  • accom  |  January 10 2013, 2:07PM

    I'm surprised that comments are allowed here since sentencing has not been carried out yet. But I guess he has formally pleaded his guilt so no libel issues. Life without parole, I say.

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  • tribalscorpio  |  January 10 2013, 9:41AM

    Shameful! Definitely not the sort of person we want children looking up too! As for being Michael Jacksons friend - he hasn't behaved as one since Jackson died! With friends like that who needs enemies!!!!

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  • bristoluk2007  |  January 10 2013, 12:59AM

    Fiddes should be jailed. He is a habitual liar and a proper rogue. How lucky for him to have a soft judge! Proof here - http://tinyurl.com/ajbto9d http://tinyurl.com/a57ylqd http://tinyurl.com/bjc782o

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