HE was supposed to be on trial for attempted murder after a motiveless shooting in Huddersfield town centre.
But for Bradley Okoro the prospect of spending time in a rain-soaked British prison was too much – so under the nose of a crown court judge, the Oakes man jumped bail and fled to Spain.
However, his foreign adventure came to a sudden end yesterday when he was brought into Leeds Crown Court and handed another eight months for fleeing the UK – by the same judge who sentenced him to 18 years for the gun attack.
In April 2006, Okoro had put a bullet through a car window on Cross Church Street and wounded Sheffield man Damien Munroe on his forehead – millimetres away from his brain.
After an intensive police investigation Okoro and two accomplices were arrested, charged and were due to stand trial when, in 2008, Okoro jumped bail and made his way abroad.
He was subsequently found guilty of the attack and sentenced in his absence.
Okoro’s accomplices were acquitted of attempted murder but found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, violent disorder and possessing a firearm. They were sentenced to 11 and 10 years in prison.
Meanwhile instead of keeping his nose clean in a new country Okoro wound up remanded in prison in Seville for drug trafficking.
Now worried about his criminal past – and 18 year sentence – catching up with him, Okoro told Spanish cops his name was Daniel Smith as he was jailed for more than three years.
But little did he know police in Huddersfield had sent copies of his fingerprints across Europe via the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.
After a tip off he was in Spain, cops compared Smith’s prints with those of Okoro and the missing gunman was found and eventually hauled back to the UK to serve his sentence.
At Leeds Crown Court yesterday, Tom Bayliss QC, prosecuting, told the court that Okoro was sentenced to three years two months in Spain for his offences there and since his extradition was serving the remains of that sentence concurrent with his 18 years.
Okoro admitted failing to answer bail in 2008.
John Elvidge QC representing him urged the court not to impose a consecutive sentence, which would be added onto the end of his current term, since he had already served two-and-a-half years in jail in Spain and was now faced with a very long sentence in the UK.
But Judge Wolstenholme told Okoro he had chosen to stay away from the attempted murder trial which was originally fixed for March 2008.
“At some stage you went off to Spain and there you committed further offences. Your counsel invites me to look at the total period you will serve. I don’t know what you were up to in Spain to deserve those three years but it seems to me the proper course is to look at the effect your absence had on proceedings here.
“You deliberately disappeared just before your trial, the trial had to be put off and you were tried in your absence.”