A man wanted for killing his former boss in Southampton was living in the UK for four years undetected before he was caught, a court was told.

Arjan Balla, 41, had been living in Godstone Road, Whyteleafe in Surrey, when he was finally tracked down and arrested, a court heard.

Following an incident in Queensway in 2006, where he punched his former boss, leaving him in a coma from which he never recovered, Balla - then using a fake name Tahir Karaj - was jailed for three years for grievous bodily harm. 

He was later deported to his home country of Albania having served just one year behind bars.

But after Anastassios Delis' death in 2017 from complications relating to his injuries, the case was reopened with the attorney general giving permission for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to prosecute Balla for manslaughter. 

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After approval was given in 2019, a five-year search was launched for the man who was previously arrested, sentenced, jailed and deported under the name Tahir Karaj.

Southampton Crown Court heard on Monday how there was a delay in tracking the man due to him having used the fake name when he was previously in the UK. 

But in January of this year, following work by Interpol, Hampshire Constabulary the National Crime Agency, authorities confirmed his real name, Arjan Balla, and discovered he was due to fly back to the UK in three days time. 

He was arrested at Stansted Airport on January 26, having flown from his native Albania to the UK. 

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Prosecutor, Sally Howes KC said he had in fact been living in the UK since 2020 with his family and he later accepted that he had used a false identity. 

Judge Christopher Parker KC added that Balla met his wife in 2008 and the couple have since had two daughters. 

He added that he is in the UK "because of your wife's permission to be here at present".

But Hampshire Constabulary said Balla had not been living in the UK between 2020 and 2024 and was in fact in Albania following his deportation. 

Asked how he was able to deceive the police, prosecutors, and courts with a fake name, Hampshire Constabulary told the Echo it is not responsible for document checks when individuals enter or leave the UK. 

A spokesperson said: "As part of this comprehensive investigation, officers from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary worked alongside a number of different agencies including the NCA, Interpol and the CPS to help identify Arjan Balla and bring him to justice for the crimes that he had committed, following the death of Mr Delis in 2017.

"Relevant police checks would have been completed via the appropriate agencies as part of our involvement during the investigation."

Balla was jailed for a further year on Monday after pleading guilty to manslaughter.