40-year-old former British rugby star, Ricky Bibey, died while brutally beating his girlfriend in their hotel room in Florence, Italy in the early hours of July 16. According to local media reports, Bibey is suspected to have died of a heart attack while he was assaulting his partner.

The woman, Jennie Platt, is a real estate agent and was in a long-term relationship with Bibey. Her injuries were so severe that she had to undergo three operations, including surgery for a haemorrhage.

Both Platt and Bibey were from Manchester and used to work as real estate agents. Platt was also featured in a BBC documentary about the property business in England.

The Sun reports that the woman was unable to speak for an entire week after the brutal assault. She is now in better condition and has been discharged from the hospital.

"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," a family friend told MailOnline.

The woman was found semi-naked and covered in blood in the hallway of the hotel they were staying at. She received severe injuries during the attack, including one to her eye socket, and is currently in a wheelchair. She remains in Italy and needs a medical flight to bring her back to Britain.

Bibey had been in and out of hospitals due to mental health issues, and the trip to Italy was taken so he could get "back on track," a family friend told British publication Metro. He used to play prop for the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats before his career was cut short by injury.

According to the report, Bibey was heavily drunk on the night of the incident, and his autopsy revealed he died from a heart attack. The police claim that he had also taken cocaine before attacking his girlfriend.

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Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON