Former Leeds man on-the-run for over 10 years jailed

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

Benjamin Wooton, 31, was arrested at Manchester Airport earlier this week as he tried to enter the country so he could attend the service in Leeds.

He had been wanted on a warrant since 2003 after failing to turn up 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 on Tuesday but was released on bail in time to pay his final respects to his father. Yesterday (Thurs) he returned to Bradford Crown Court to be sentenced.

The court heard how Wooton, 19 at the time of the attack, repeatedly kicked another man in the head during a violent disturbance near to the Oscars nightclub in Keighley.

The attack was captured on CCTV and Wooton, who was on licence at the time following a custodial sentence for robbery, eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

The court heard that Wooton, now a father-of-one, had been living and working in the Republic of Ireland since he absconded more than 10 years ago and his barrister Jon Gregg said he was now a very different man to the 19-year-old. Wooton was jailed for 12 months for the street attack and a further three months for failing to turn up at court in 2003.