Fugitive caught in In­dian Ocean

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

A for­mer Ash­ford man who fled jus­tice after shoot­ing his part­ner with a CO2-pow­ered pis­tol has been ar­rested 6,000 miles away on the French is­land of Re­union in the In­dian Ocean.

John Soares, 51, had been sen­tenced in his ab­sence at Maidstone Crown Court in May 2012 after he failed to turn up for his trial.

A jury con­victed Soares of griev­ous bod­ily harm after hear- ing how he had shot his part­ner with the weapon – leav­ing her with pel­lets in her leg – nine years ear­lier.

He was liv­ing with his French girl­friend, Martina Al­mansa, and their daugh­ter in Gor­don Road, Ash­ford, when the of­fence was com­mit­ted in July 2003.

But he had to be sen­tenced in his ab­sence when he failed to ap­pear for court.

When he was ar­rested in 2011 he was then sen­tenced to eight months for breach­ing his bail.

On his re­lease, he dis­ap­peared be­fore he could be sen­tenced for the at­tack on his part­ner.

A ma­jor in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched and, after de­tails of his where­abouts were dis­closed, Soares was ar­rested on Fri­day un­der a Euro­pean ar­rest war­rant.

Ex­tra­di­tion is now be­ing sought.

Dur­ing his GBH trial, the court heard that Soares had be­come vi­o­lent when Miss Al­mansa re­fused to give him some money.

After drink­ing, he grabbed a CO2 rapid-fire pel­let gun from a cup­board and shot Miss Al­mansa twice in the left thigh.

She fled from the bed­room into the kitchen, where Soares fired the gun at her face.

The pel­let hit her arm as she raised it to stop her face be­ing hit.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM4393799

Beaver Green pri­mary pupils per­form­ing In­dian dance

John Soares

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