Man jailed for assault after being on the run for more than a decade

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A “wanted” man who had been on-the-run for more than a decade has been jailed for 15 months after he returned to this country for his father’s funeral.

Grieving son Benjamin Wooton was arrested at Manchester Airport earlier this week as he tried to enter the country so he could attend his father’s service in Leeds.

Wooton, now 31, had been wanted on a warrant since 2003 after he failed to turn up at Bradford Crown Court to be sentenced for a street attack in Keighley in November 2002.

Wooton, formerly of Barncroft Drive, Seacroft, Leeds, had initially been remanded in custody by Judge Peter Benson on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning the same judge decided that Wooton could be released on bail in time to pay his final respects to his father.

The court heard that Wooton, now a father-of-one, had been living and working in Ireland since he absconded more than 10 years ago and his barrister Jon Gregg said he was now a very different man.

Mr Gregg said Wooton had repaid Judge Benson’s trust by coming back to face his sentence.

Judge Benson jailed Wooton for 12 months for the street attack and added a further three months to the sentence for his failure to turn up at court in 2003. He said Wooton had been involved in a vicious attack on the complainant.