An inquest has opened into the death of former Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Wakefield Trinity Ricky Bibey following the shock revelation of new evidence.
Bibey was holidaying in Florence with his partner and was found unresponsive in a room at the Hotel Continentale in the early hours. The 40-year-old had booked into the hotel with his partner the previous day – July 15, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The inquest was told Italian authorities were called to the hotel in the early hours of July 16 where policemen found Mr Bibey’s body ‘lying on the ground unresponsive’.
The court revealed that Bibey was a divorced, self-employed and was operating a window cleaning business.
Italian authorities later told Bibey’s father that he had died from a ‘respiratory arrest’ and that the death was ‘possibly drug-related’, the court heard.
Following Bibey’s death, it was alleged that that the former prop suffered a heart attack after subjecting his partner to a ‘shocking and violent’ attack, according to the Mail Online.
“She (his partner, Jennie) has been doing all she can to help the Italian authorities piece together what happened that night, speaking to them as a witness and as a victim of a domestic assault,” the 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.”
Bibey’s partner’s friend revealed that Bibey had suffered mental health issues and a “serious downturn” since the beginning of the year.
“He had been in and out of various centres, and this trip was to try and get him back on track – but it ended in tragedy,” they said.