AN ex-boxer from Nelson has denied taking part in a ‘cowardly’ attack on a businessman known as ‘The Fake Sheikh’.

Mark Putterill, 37, of Colne Road, told the High Court in Edinburgh there had been no violence at finance boss Richard Cox’s former home in Dunfermline, Fife.

Mr Cox, 60, director general of Dubai-based Fortune Super Equity Management told a trial how he was beaten up by three men from East Lancashire in November 2010.

Former Keirby Hotel owner Mohammed Asjad, 41, of Reedley Road and Ian Williams, 50, of Station Road, both Burnley, also deny charges of assault, robbery and attempted extortion.

Mr Cox said he was left with a head wound after their visit, and that the trio threatened to cut off his fingers if he did not meet their demands to hand over a ‘business debt’ in Arab Emirate currency worth around £500,000.

Putterill, a double-glazing fitter, told the court on Friday: “I have done nothing whatsoever to Mr Cox. He wasn’t injured when I left. How he got those injuries I have no idea.”

Asjad had asked Mr Cox for his help in a multi-million pound property deal in the United Arab Emirates, then demanded his money back when the deal went sour.