AN offender jailed for assaults carried out nine years ago has finally been brought to justice after fleeing to Spain.

Rory Burn was arrested for assaulting two men in a confrontation outside the Whitehills pub, in Waldridge Lane, Chester-le-Street, in April 2003.

Both men were injured, one seriously, suffering a fractured skull and loss of hearing.

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Burn, then aged 25 and living in nearby Glanton Close, was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and assault causing actual bodily harm, as well as possessing an offensive weapon.

He was bailed, but failed to turn up for a subsequent trial and was tried in his absence, at Durham Crown Court, in July 2004.

A warrant was issued for Burn’s arrest by Judge Peter Armstrong, who imposed a four-year prison sentence.

It emerged that Burns had fled to Spain before the crown court trial.

His location in Spain came to the attention of Durham Police late last year and the force made a joint application with the Crown Prosecution Service for a European Arrest Warrant to have him returned to Britain.

Officers from Durham travelled to Madrid on Tuesday and arrested Burn before escorting him back to the North-East.

Now aged 34, with a listed address of Castle Close, Prudhoe, Northumberland, he appeared at Durham Crown Court yesterday.

Recorder Anton Lodge imposed the original four-year sentence and added a further six months in custody for Burn’s failure to appear in court in 2004.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Inspector Nev Carman said: “Burn is a violent individual who thought he had evaded capture.

“We’re committed to protecting our neighbourhoods from such individuals, no matter where they hide and no matter how long it takes.”

The victim of the more serious assault, 47-year-old fire officer David Hollow, was unable to return to work for three years.

Following yesterday’s hearing, he thanked the police for pursuing the case.

He said: “I’m still not back to full duties at work due to the attack and the memory of it will never go away.”