Ex-British wrestler Jimmy Breaks charged with killing former partner

Ex-British wrestler Jimmy Breaks charged with killing former partner

June 12, 2019

Former British wrestler Jimmy Breaks, 80, is led away in handcuffs after being charged with killing his ex-partner, 47, ‘after confessing to police in Gran Canaria that he attacked her’

  • Ex-wrestler Jim Breaks charged with murdering former partner Donna Cowley 
  • Yorkshire-born star allegedly punched ex-girlfriend during a heated argument
  • The 80-year-old allegedly smashed a cup over her head at his Gran Canaria flat
  • She called emergency services for help, but died in hospital the following day 

Retired wrestler Jim Breaks has been charged with killing his ex-British girlfriend at his Gran Canaria flat.

The former ITV star has also been warned Spanish state prosecutors will call for him to be jailed for 15 years when he goes on trial for her homicide.

Prosecutors say in an indictment he punched Donna Cowley around the face and body after smashing a cup over her head during an argument.

The 80-year-old, from Bradford, west Yorkshire, was remanded in prison after his arrest in June 30, 2017.

Prosecutors allege Breaks abandoned severely injured Yorkshire-born Donna in the bathroom of his flat in the holiday resort of Puerto Rico after assaulting her.

She managed to call the emergency services for help after being hit, but died in hospital the following day.

Retired British wrestler Jim Breaks being led away by police after he was charged with the homicide of his former partner Donna Cowley

Known as Cry Baby in the wrestling ring, Spanish prosecutors allege Breaks hit Cowley ober the head at his flat in Gran Canaria

Pictured: Jimmy Breaks holding down a rival during a wrestling match 

Jim, known as Cry Baby in the ring, was a familiar face for almost 30 years on Saturday afternoon TV when millions tuned in to watch his fights.

Mum-of-two Donna, 47 when she died, moved to Gran Canaria more than 20 years ago with Breaks after working for him at a pub he owned in Bradford.

She fell on hard times after succumbing to drink problems when her love of partying started to take its toll and spiralling health problems, including asthma and diabetes.

She emigrated after splitting with her husband and leaving her two young children in the care of her parents. 

Her daughter subsequently died on Christmas Day 2005 in tragic circumstances aged just 17.

Donna Cowley managed to call the emergency services but died in hospital the next day 

Breaks reportedly confessed to assaulting Donna during his behind-closed-doors court quiz shortly after his arrest and told a judge she was acting as his carer when she died and they were not dating.

She is understood to have moved back in with him after they ended their relationship when she lost her job.

No date has been set for Breaks’ trial. It was not clear this afternoon if he intended pleading guilty to the charge of homicide or would fight to clear his name in court.

Breaks won the Northern Featherweight Championship after entering the amateur wrestling ranks before being trained for the professional ring by talented wrestler Bernard Murray.

He won the British Lightweight championship against Melwyn Rees in October 1963, holding the title until February 15th 1967 when he lost it to Al Miquet.

He went on to win the belt a further nine times before losing it for the final time against Steve Grey on March 22 1984.

He was a regular on TV when televised wrestling reached record audiences.

A well-informed wrestling website claimed after his arrest he appeared on ITV wrestling for 28 years, longer than any other wrestler and more times than anyone else except the late Mick McManus.

Breaks (pictured in the ring) was a highly successful wrestler, losing his British Lightweight title for the last time in 1984 after being defeated by Steve Grey

Breaks’s flat in Gran Canaria where he allegedly murdered his ex-girlfriend in 2017

Breaks won the Northern Featherweight Championship after entering the amateur wrestling ranks before being trained for the professional ring by talented wrestler Bernard Murray

He is better known as Jim or Jimmy Breaks, although he was christened James Breaks.

As well as a prison sentence state prosecutors say they want him to pay his alleged victim’s heirs around £53,370 (€60,000) in compensation.

It was not clear today if he is also being prosecuted by Donna’s loved ones.

Under Spanish law private prosecutions – led by the relatives of crime victims – run separately but parallel to any state prosecution.

Formal charges are only laid in Spain shortly before trial.

Friend Suzie Wong paid an emotional Facebook tribute to Donna after her death, saying ‘Donna always managed to stay so happy, regardless of what she was going through in life.

‘She was a beautiful person with no badness whatsoever inside her. She was only living with Breaks because she had no money and nowhere else to stay, simple as that. She didn’t deserve what happened to her.’

Another called Samantha Way wrote at the time: One, Samantha Way, wrote: ‘RIP my dear friend. I’m so angry that you had to be taken this way. 

‘You were put through so many challenges in life and to end this way I am truly sickened. I hope the angels will guide you to a place where you will be at peace.’

Pictured: An advert for a fight between Breaks and Strongman Dennison in Southend-on-Sea

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