Mystery today surrounds an 11th hour reprieve for former world heavyweight boxing champion Herbie Hide which has seen an unpaid fine for assault settled – despite the boxer insisting it was not him who paid up.

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The 41-year-old from Bawburgh, near Norwich, had been ordered to pay a total of £1,515, which was imposed after he pleaded guilty to an offence of common assault at Norwich Crown Court in June last year.

Mr Hide had not paid the fine despite being ordered by Norwich Magistrates’ Court in February to do so by the end of March or face 45 days in prison. He then had a warrant issued by the court to get him to reappear over the matter.

Mr Hide, who has previously spoken of his anger that the fine was imposed because he did not think it was right, was due to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday in relation to the matter after a committal warrant was issued.

But the Norwich boxer, who held the World Boxing Organisation version of the heavyweight title twice, including a two-year reign from 1997 to 1999, did not appear in court.

The Norwich Evening News was told by a court official that the fine had been paid so there was no need for him to attend.

The fines department would not confirm or deny that the fine had been paid, with a spokesman stating: “If the official has advised it’s been paid, it’s been paid”.

The mystery, however, deepened when the Norwich Evening News contacted Mr Hide to establish whether the fine had indeed been paid.

He said: “If someone has told you it’s been paid I don’t know who it is. It wasn’t me. I wouldn’t pay it anyway. I could’ve paid it if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to.

“If it’s been paid off it wasn’t me – I had no intention of paying it. If I say I’m not doing something I’m not going to do it. I thought it was unfair.” As previously reported, Mr Hide said he pleaded guilty to the offence because he was told to do so by his lawyers but did not want to. However, a spokesman for Belmores, who represented Mr Hide at the time, issued a statement in response which said: “If Mr Hide has issues regarding the plea he entered he is entitled to seek legal advice from other lawyers as to his remedies.”

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