Weightlifter who threatened to kill his girlfriend is spared jail

‘You’re a very WEAK man’: Judge slams weightlifting champion nicknamed ‘The Strength Predator’ who beat, controlled and threatened to kill his girlfriend – but spares him jail 

  • Weightlifting champion, 34, who beat his girlfriend has been spared jail
  • Alireza Herefedoust forced Anna Fyodorova, 21, into abusive relationship
  • Herefedoust ‘terrorised’ Miss Fyodorova throughout their 13 month affair
  • Miss Fyodorova tried to leave but Herefedoust threatened to kill himself
  • He admitted coercive behaviour and was given 10 months suspended two years 

Alireza Herefedoust outside court

A weightlifting champion nicknamed ‘The Strength Predator’ who beat, controlled and threatened to kill his girlfriend has been spared jail.

A female judge branded Alireza Herefedoust, 34, a ‘bully’ after he forced university dental graduate Anna Fyodorova, 21, into a controlling and abusive relationship. 

Herefedoust ‘terrorised’ her throughout their 13-month affair, during which he threw terrifying temper tantrums and told her: ‘I haven’t killed my ex but I’ll finish my job with you.’

Miss Fyodorova even tried to leave him but begrudgingly stayed after he threatened to kill himself.

Police were alerted when Herefedoust smashed up her mobile phone and held a piece of broken screen to her throat after he woke up to find her sneaking out of his apartment in Hulme, Manchester.

During the struggle he told her: ‘Your mother is not going to have a daughter by the end of today.’ 

Inquiries revealed he had a string of broken relationships – with one of his ex-girlfriends even warning Miss Fyodorova about his possessive behaviour.

At Manchester Crown Court, Herefedoust, a former Iranian political refugee, admitted coercive behaviour and was handed a 10-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

In a withering assessment, Judge Suzanne Goddard QC told the weightlifter: ‘You have been involved in weight training and weight lifting but you are a very weak man. 

‘You do not see yourself in the same light particularly against the victims of your violent, bullying and controlling behaviour. I think you have a long way to go before you behave like a proper decent man.

‘You exploited your strength with the victim and the fact she was someone who you were training added another layer of power. 

‘I hope you desist from forming any other relationships with females you are training. I am not sure if it is a good for you to be training females – in fact it probably isn’t.’

The court heard the pair met online in June 2018 while Russian-Latvia-born Miss Fyodorova, who lives in Brighton, was studying oral hygiene and dental therapy at the University of Plymouth. 


A female judge branded Alireza Herefedoust, left, a ‘bully’ after he forced university dental graduate Anna Fyodorova, right, into a controlling and abusive relationship

Herefedoust terrorised her throughout their 13-month affair, during which he threw terrifying temper tantrums and told her: ‘I haven’t killed my ex but I’ll finish my job with you’

They moved in together the following November and she even agreed to act as his guarantor so he could buy a new car.

But by Christmas, Herefedoust accessed the victim’s laptop and found old messages she had sent to another man prior to them moving into together.

Michael Lavery, prosecuting, said: ‘He accused her of being a liar and a cheat and she packed up and was going to leave him but he persuaded her to stay and things seemed to settle down.

‘However, the following February a woman contacted Miss Fyodorova through social media and told her that he was planning to meet up with her. 

‘He was very angry at finding out that the other woman had contacted Miss Fyodorova and made threats as to what he might do to that other woman.

‘Concerned that he might actually carry out those threats, Miss Fyodorova contacted that other woman to warn her and again packed her bags to leave.

‘But again, he persuaded her to stay, this time saying that he would kill himself if she left. She tried to leave him a number of times after that but each time he would stand in the doorway and physically prevent her from leaving.

‘During this period, Miss Fydorova was contacted by an ex-partner of the defendant who told her he had previously been convicted of breaching a restraining order which she had taken out against him.

Miss Fyodorova tried to leave him but stayed after Herefedoust threatened to kill himself

Inquiries revealed he had a string of broken relationships – with one of his ex-girlfriends even warning Miss Fyodorova about his possessive behaviour

‘At learning of this, the defendant became angry, punching doors and kicking things. He said to her, ”I haven’t killed my ex but I’ll finish my job with you.”’

An argument followed, during which Herefedoust threw Miss Fydorova down onto the bed, tried to hold her down and took her phone from her. She sustained some scratches as a result of this assault. 

Miss Fydorova went to stay with a friend but he turned up at the address and sent constant messages and videos and made repeated calls to her. He even demanded he accompany her to a doctor’s appointment.

In May 2019, Herefedoust took Miss Fydorova away for a spa weekend at a hotel to try to salvage the relationship, but became aggressive and prevented her from leaving their room.

She agreed to move back with him but as she was about to return to university for the summer term, Herefedoust again accused her of cheating on him, snatched her phone from her and pushed her onto a bed saying: ‘Get in your corner. It won’t end well for you if I don’t get into this phone. You’re my property’.

When she tried to leave, he said: ‘You really think I’m just going to let you leave, you won’t be able to get out of here, you’ll be in a wheelchair.’ 

Herefedoust, who beat, controlled and threatened to kill his girlfriend, has been spared jail

He then argued with her about the car she helped him buy and demanded that she give him money, throwing a punch at her and then kicking her.

Mr Lavery added: ‘He told her she had no choice as to where she could sit and he grabbed her arm and pushed her into the bedroom so hard that she fell over. She was so scared of what he would do that she curled up in the corner of the room and was shaking with fear. 

‘The next day he lost his temper with her again and said that he would not let her go anywhere and preventing her from going to view a flat which she had arranged to see. On June 30, when the defendant had taken some sleeping tablets and was asleep, Miss Fyodorova saw an opportunity to leave so started to pack up her belongings. 

‘But whilst she was packing up her car, the defendant woke up and when she came back in he shut the door preventing her from leaving. 

‘He said that he wouldn’t let her leave. He then attacked her, ripping the bottom of her dress and demanding her credit card. When she refused he grabbed her phone and snapped it.

‘He then held a sharp part of the broken phone to her neck and threatened to kill her, saying, ‘Your mother is not going to have a daughter by the end of today.’ Fearing that his threats were genuine she sat down quietly.

‘During this episode he also broke her sunglasses. She was caused bruising and scratches during the struggle between the two. At a certain point, he left the flat to go to the car and she saw her opportunity and went down to the reception area and managed to call the police.’

Herefedoust was arrested soon afterwards but denied allegations of abusive behaviour, saying their relationship had its ‘ups and downs.’

His counsel Maria Brannan said in mitigation: ‘He is sorry for the hurt he has caused to the complainant and for having let him himself down in this way. 

‘The defendant was a full time competitive weight lifting coach and was her trainer. This took a toxic turn and this spiralled downwards very quickly. He is now a successful weight lifting coach and has trained past champions.’ 

Herefedoust was also ordered to complete 31 sessions of Building Better Relationships programme and 200 hours unpaid work and was banned from contacting the victim for five years.

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