Rugby player dies from heart attack while beating girlfriend
A British woman who ran covered in blood and screaming ‘help me’ after her ex-rugby star boyfriend died in their Italian hotel room was the victim of a ‘shocking and violent assault’.
Successful estate agent Jennie Platt was rushed to hospital where she needed three operations after she was viciously beaten up by her lover Ricky Bibey, 40, who passed away from a suspected heart attack in the terrifying incident at the £350-a-night four-star Hotel Continentale in Florence.
Friends of Jennie, 44, a mother-of-two, say 6ft 3in Mr Bibey, who weighed 17 stones, subjected her to the vicious assault after they returned to their luxury hotel in the early hours of July 16 following a night of heavy drinking in the Italian city.
Prosecutors investigating the attack had to wait more than a week to talk to Jennie and get her account of her ordeal because of the extent of her injuries and she has only now been discharged from hospital and allowed to return home but will need ongoing medical care.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, a family friend said: ‘Jennie is devastated. She is the victim of a shocking and violent attack in the hotel room at the hands of the man she had a long-term relationship with.
‘She is a strong woman who runs a successful business and is desperately trying to come to terms with what has happened to her, and Ricky’s actions before his death.
She has suffered several serious injuries, including one to her eye socket which very worrying. She is in a wheelchair currently as she recovers from the assault. She was discharged from hospital some days ago and has been staying in a different part of the city.
‘Although travelling home gives some logistical challenges, it is felt being at home is the best place for her. Her family are in the north west and she has many friends who will be supporting her during her recovery.
‘Jennie is a strong individual who will get through this with the support of her loved ones but will need to take it one day at a time.’
Ricky has been suffering from mental health issues of late and has been in a serious slump over the past six months,” the family friend added.
“He’s been in and out of different centers and this trip was supposed to try to get him back on track, but it ended in tragedy.”
Although toxicology results have yet to be confirmed, police say the rugby star had taken cocaine and alcohol to cause his death.
A post-mortem examination confirmed that he died of a heart attack.