Inquest witness was at large for months

The old radar station at Fraser Range, Eastney Picture: Shaun Roster

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A WITNESS who gave evidence in handcuffs at an inquest into his friend’s ‘tombstoning’ death has to ‘face the music’ after being hauled in front of magistrates.

Steven Allen, 30, was charged with a battery against his former partner and was due to stand trial in March.

But he walked out of court after his defence solicitor played the 999 call she made, and police have been hunting for him for nine months.

On Thursday he was arrested at a building site in Farnham to give evidence yesterday.

He saw the tragic death of Michael Stratton, 26, who died at Jackie Spencer bridge, in Gosport, on July 23.

After appearing at coroner’s court yesterday morning, he was in front of Portsmouth magistrates in the afternoon.

Edward Jackson, defending, said Allen tried to hand himself in to police.

Mr Jackson said he knows he ‘has to face the music’.

Portsmouth magistrates released Allen on conditional bail to report to Fareham police station each day.

The court heard Allen was convicted of battery after throwing a partner to the ground when he grabbed her head with both hands.

Allen, of Forton Road, Gosport, admitted failing to answer bail. He will be sentenced on January 9.