Tyson is sent back to jail by judge

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The Independent Online
NEW YORK - The former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson failed yesterday to persuade a judge to shorten his six-year sentence for rape, writes Peter Pringle. Sending him back to jail for another year Patricia Gifford said: 'I have not heard what I wanted to hear.'

Tyson's laywers had filed a motion called 'Petition for modification of sentence'. Under the statute, inmates can ask the court to reduce their sentence if they meet certain behavioural criteria and have served at least half their sentence. The boxer's lawyers argued that he was rehabilitated.

There have been rumours of a deal between Tyson and the woman he raped, Desiree Washington, in which he would pay dollars 1.5m ( pounds 1m) and apologise for harming her; she would drop a multimillion dollar civil suit. If such a deal existed it was not mentioned in court.

The judge could have reduced the sentence or even freed Tyson if the boxer made a public apology but the 811 days he has spent behind bars has not persuaded Tyson to admit to the rape or say he was sorry.

The civil suit brought by Ms Washington will be heard in September. It will give Tyson's well-known defence laywer, the Harvard professor and author, Alan Dershowitz, an opportunity to cross-examine Ms Washington.