Big Fat Gypsy Weddings hardman Paddy Doherty has gone in to hiding after receiving death threats for breaking the traveller code of silence.
The former bare knuckle fighter, 51, received threats telling him “your life’s over” after he gave evidence in the trial of his cousin James Joyce, who he had accused of attacking him.
But the 20-year-old was cleared of assault and now the traveller community are furious at Paddy for breaking tradition and involving police in their affairs.
Channel 4 bosses were forced to provide a safehouse and guards for Paddy after he received a message saying: “You’re f***ing dead and so are your grassing family.”
According to The Mirror, Paddy told a pal: “Speaking to the police was the worst mistake of my life. Now my family will always be on the run.”
The source said: “Paddy can’t sleep for fear.
“He’s terrified someone might let slip where he is so he’s using a false name and won’t leave his bedroom.”
A Channel 4 insider told the paper: “The show’s producers have spent time with the gypsy community so they know just how serious these threats are.
“Bosses are taking no chances and are footing a huge bill for Paddy’s protection to keep him hidden for as long as possible.”
Paddy had alleged that Joyce broke his jaw during an unprovoked attack after a night out.
Traditionally traveller men sort out their disagreements in ‘fair’ fights with referees and avoid involving the police or authorities.