David Richards dies: who was ex-Dreamboys boss - what did he do to Alex Alam, why was he in prison?

David Richards was sentenced to 27 years in prison after attacking Alex Alam with an axe, claiming he had seen her with reality TV personality Kirk Norcross

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A former boss of the Dreamboys stripper group who tried to murder his wife with an axe has died in prison. David Richards, 42, was sentenced to 27 years behind bars in January after fracturing 32-year-old Alex Alam’s skull in a planned attack following the breakdown of their relationship.

A spokesperson for HMP Lowdham Grange, Nottinghamshire, confirmed on Tuesday (14 March) that Richards had died on 13 March.

What happened to David Richards? 

An independent investigation has been launched after Richards’ body was found by warders at the Category B men’s jail - which was put on lockdown after the discovery.

The spokesperson said: “The next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with the family. As with all deaths in custody, there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and therefore we are unable to comment further at this stage.”

Why was David Richards in prison? 

Richards was sentenced to 27 years in prison after attacking Ms Alam outside her home. Richards lay in wait for hours with an axe, dry suit and cable ties to ambush Ms Alam when she stepped outside her home in Stock, Essex, with her dogs on 3 April 2022.

David Richards was sentenced to 27 years in prison after attacking Alex Alam with an axe  David Richards was sentenced to 27 years in prison after attacking Alex Alam with an axe
David Richards was sentenced to 27 years in prison after attacking Alex Alam with an axe

She suffered a fractured skull and cuts to her face and scalp in the “bloodbath” that ensued, Judge David Turner KC told Chelmsford Crown Court. The attack happened after Richards had seen Ms Alam with Kirk Norcross, a reality TV star. He had planned the attempted hit in advance, buying boots, gloves and a hatchet and waiting in the shadows to catch Ms Alam alone, having stalked and monitored her home in advance. He then attacked her in darkness while their children were inside the house, tying her up and dragging her by the hair.

Essex Police said that when Richards stepped out to try and find Ms Alam’s phone, she was able to free herself, lock her doors and call for help. The court heard how Ms Alam made a FaceTime call to Norcross begging him to rescue her children during the attack.

Richards, who was found guilty of attempted murder, sobbed at the sentencing hearing as the judge told him the attack was “the hideous culmination of the breakdown some 18 months earlier of your family relationships”. He was described in court as being “obsessive” and having a “jealous mindset”.

The judge added: “Your dream home, family and lifestyle to which you had aspired had very sadly unravelled and left you depressed, isolated and angry.”

In her victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Alam said: “I’ve been utterly betrayed beyond belief by the person I chose to have children with, turning my life upside down. The scars are a constant reminder of what he did to me.”

Who was David Richards? 

Richards had a “successful” business with a “not insignificant family home and a not insignificant lifestyle”, the court had been told. He had been in a nine-year relationship with Ms Alam. There had been reports to police alleging domestic assaults, harassment and stalking during the autumn of 2019. He became a director of the male striptease group Dreamboys in 2014, according to Companies House - later selling the business for £1m in 2019.

Dreamboys is renowned for being the first all-male stripping troupe in the UK, and are known for their dancers’ toned physiques. It first launched at the London Hippodrome, in 1987, before taking up a permanent residence at Jaqueline’s nightclub in Soho.

The troupe attracted many celebrities and featured in hundreds of performances on TV - including on Children in Need and with Amy Winehouse, as well as performing a dance sequence with the Spicegirls in the film Spiceworld. Dreamboys went international, and booked tours across Europe, including Russia, Turkey, and Sweden.

Who was David Richards’ wife?

Alex Alam is a former model who had been in a relationship with Richards for nine years before separating. Together they had built a house complete with stables and the property was put in both of their names.

However, Richards was abusive towards Ms Alam throughout their relationship and she succeeded in getting a non-molestation order against him.