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Acquittal for Jamal Ahmed on 1980 fight charge
10:43am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
A MAN who went on the run from York Crown Court more than 30 years ago has been formally acquitted in his absence.
Police failed to arrest Jamal Ahmed on a bench warrant issued when the defendant failed to appear for his trial in January 1980.
The defendant, who is of Libyan extraction and was then aged 20, was accused of wounding another man during a fight in a Harrogate nightclub in 1979.
For 32 years, every police officer in the country has been under a judge’s order to arrest Mr Ahmed on sight, but none has done so.
Earlier this year, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spoke to the man he allegedly injured to see if he would agree to the case being dropped because so much time had passed that the chances of getting a conviction were small.
Judge Stephen Ashurst, the Recorder of York, said of the complainant: “He no longer has any interest in this case, having consigned it to history.”
The judge noted that the judge who signed the warrant and others involved in the case had since died and at the request of the CPS, formally acquitted Jamal Ahmed.
Mr Ahmed’s current whereabouts is unknown. He had denied the charge before his trial date.