A man who was arrested as he flew back into the country has been jailed for shocking violent offences against a woman.

Middlesbrough man Thomas Patton knowingly evaded capture by police after being accused of a string of shocking crimes.

But when he landed back at Newcastle Airport last October officers were waiting for him and arrested him as he stepped off the plane.

He was interviewed and later charged with three counts of ABG, two common assaults, intimidation, and engaging in coercive and controlling behaviour.

He left his victim in “great fear” and mentally distressed by his actions, police said.

Patton, 29, of Pallister Park denied ever doing anything wrong when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court, but has found guilty of all seven offences after a trial in March.

Appearing before the same court this week he was jailed for three-and-a-half years and handed a five-year restraining order.

Speaking after the sentencing Detective Constable Gary Liddell said: “The physical assaults Patton carried out left the victim in great fear, and the mental distress caused by his coercive and controlling behaviour only added to this.

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“Patton knew he was wanted and did all he could to evade police, but we were determined to arrest him and bring him to justice.

“Although he refused to admit what he had done, the court has now found him guilty and justice has been served. I do hope this brings a degree of comfort to this brave woman and I wish her well for the future.

“Tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for policing nationally and here in Cleveland we’ll do all we can to deal with perpetrators, whilst providing victims with all available support.”

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police added: “If you are experiencing or have experienced violence or other abuse, you can contact Cleveland Police at any time of day or night via the 101 number (always use 999 in an emergency).”