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In Brief: Hide jailed for selling cocaine

BOXING: Former world champion boxer Herbie Hide has been jailed for selling cocaine after a court heard he fell for a sting operation set up by an investigative journalist known as the Fake Sheikh.

Hide arranged to supply the class A drug to Sun on Sunday reporter Mazher Mahmood after a series of meetings at a hotel near Norwich in January and February.

During a sentencing hearing at Cambridge Crown Court, defence lawyers questioned the use of "entrapment" tactics to target the 42-year-old.

Hide, of Long Lane, Bawburgh, near Norwich, admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC sentenced the boxer, who has previous convictions including criminal damage, battery, threatening behaviour and carrying a knife, to 22 months in prison. He said he had reduced the sentence, partly because of the "sting element".

Martin Budworth, mitigating for Hide, said Mr Mahmood and his assistant had pursued his client "relentlessly" despite his attempts to remove himself from the encounter.

A friend of Hide described him in a statement read to court as a "pubescent boy in a grown man's body".

Hide held the World Boxing Organisation version of the heavyweight title twice.



CRICKET: Ireland have made it safely through to today's World T20 Qualifying final against Afghanistan after an emphatic 62-run win over hosts UAE in Abu Dhabi.

William Porterfield opted to take first use on winning the toss, but things didn't go according to plan early on. The skipper lasted just eight balls before falling to Manjula Guruge.

Worse was to follow for the Group A winners when Guruge did for the dangerous Stirling (17), and Ireland were on the ropes in the 8th over when Gary Wilson's dismissal left them struggling on 42-4. Cometh the hour, however, and familiar faces stepped up to the mark to get the innings back on track.

First, Kevin O'Brien and John Mooney doubled the Irish total in the next six overs, the partnership ending with O'Brien trapped in front by Nasir Aziz for 31. Although Mooney went soon after for 29, their combined efforts allowed Ireland to close on a very competitive 147 for 8.

Skipper Porterfield will go into the next game against Group B table toppers with confidence high after a thoroughly professional job here.