Fugitive caught in Indian Ocean
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.
Beaver Green primary pupils performing Indian dance