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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Now Red or Black liar could lose his £1m prize money: He told TV bosses he beat up a man... but real victim was his lover

Nathan Hageman was jailed for five years and was released in 2009

By Simon Cable

The thug who became the first winner on Simon Cowell’s high-profile new ITV game show could lose his £1million prize money after it emerged he lied about his criminal past.

Nathan Hageman, who won the first Red or Black programme on Saturday, had claimed he was jailed over a fight with a man.

But court documents yesterday revealed he was in fact convicted for an attack on a young woman – believed to be his former girlfriend.

Celebrating: Nathan Hageman, with his current girlfriend Jane Makepeace. Court documents have shown that he attacked a former partner - but lied to show bosses and said it was a man

ITV bosses last night launched an investigation into the affair, raising the possibility that the winner could be stripped of his seven-figure fortune if it is deemed he breached his contract by lying to executives.

After his win, Mr Hageman – who had been working as a bricklayer following his release from prison – was forced to admit publicly he had been given a five-year prison sentence after apparently breaking into a man’s home and assaulting him.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday, the 31-year-old insisted the incident involved a male love rival and that he had acted in self-defence following a series of abusive phone calls. He also said he had turned his life around since his release in 2009.

However, information from Reading Crown Court shows the victim of Mr Hageman’s attack was 30-year-old Amy Edwards, who is thought to be his former girlfriend.

On Sunday afternoon, ITV bosses stood by their decision to allow the bricklayer to appear on the show, claiming they knew about his criminal past and had conducted ‘background checks’.

But last night sources at the channel claimed he had misinformed them of his past conviction.

One said: ‘It’s fair to say we didn’t know. We knew about the sentence but believed it was the result of a confrontation with another man.’

ITV confirmed to the Daily Mail last night: ‘In light of recent developments ITV and Syco are making inquiries to establish the facts.’

Winner: Hageman met with the show's creator Simon Cowell after his win on Saturday night - where he correctly predicted red on the spin of a giant roulette wheel

Mr Hageman was found guilty in November 2006. He served half his sentence in HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire before being released in 2009. He was put on licence for the remainder of his term.

Talking about the incident after his win, he said: ‘I got mixed up with the wrong woman, someone I shouldn’t have been involved with. I decided to get out of the situation and ended up with another woman, who was such a nice girl – completely different.

‘But the woman I left wouldn’t leave me alone. Then I started getting calls from a guy in Reading. He was very threatening. I think she’d got involved with him.

Pressure: Nathan Hageman reacts after he wins the £1m, alongside his girlfriend and the show's presenters And and Dec

‘I tried to brush it off but he kept saying he was going to harm me. I was concerned for my mum, sister and niece and I went there and assaulted him. I was an idiot for doing it, I know, but that’s the state of mind I was in.’

He even claimed he had made his peace with the man in question.

However, Reading Crown Court said yesterday: ‘On November 7, 2006, Nathan Hageman pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated burglary and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

‘On December 8, 2006, he received a sentence of five years imprisonment for aggravated burglary and two years imprisonment for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm to run concurrently. The victim of the assault occasioning actual bodily harm named in the indictment was Amy Edwards.’

Almost eight million viewers watched Mr Hageman, who is now with girlfriend Jane Makepeace, 29, win the ITV show after he correctly predicted red on the spin of a giant roulette wheel.



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