An arsonist who tried to burn down a house in Selby following a dispute, then tried to evade justice by starting a new life in Scandinavia was today handed a four year jail term.
Thomas Oakley, 21, of York, was arrested and convicted of the offence in 2016 but skipped bail and fled to Finland York Crown Court heard at a hearing today (Friday).
Specially-trained intelligence officers from North Yorkshire Police launched an investigation and working with other authorities in Finland eventually tracked him down.
He was brought back to the UK to be sentenced at York Crown Court, where he was today jailed for 58 months for arson.
Speaking after the court case, North Yorkshire Police intelligence officer Paul Somerville – who tracked him down and arranged his extradition – said: “Oakley’s prison sentence confirms the old saying ‘you can run but you can’t hide’.
“He was convicted of a very serious offence. But rather than having the courage to face his fate, he tried to run away.
“However, the world is smaller than you think when the police are on your tail. Everybody always leaves footprints, whether they intend to or not, and investigators know how to use a range of specialist techniques to detect and follow these footprints.
“Thanks to help from the Finnish authorities, I’m glad that Oakley is behind bars today starting the substantial prison sentence he should have served all along.”