Surrey man jailed 18 years after "senseless and violent" Southampton assault which victim never recovered from

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A man has been sent to prison after the victim of an assault in 2006 died eleven years later having never regained consciousness.

Arjan Balla, of Whyteleafe in Surrey, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for manslaughter following a four year search for him by Hampshire police. Balla assaulted his boss, Anastassios Delis from London, in Southampton on November 2006, punching him a number of times and causing him to fall and hit his head. Anastassios suffered a severe head injury and never recovered consciousness, passing away in December 2017.

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Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary, working with Interpol, the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service, and Albanian authorities, found that Balla was his true name and he was living in Albania, having been deported in 2007. Police intercepted Balla at Stansted Airport on Friday, January 26 when he flew back to the UK and were then able to confirm his true identity through his fingerprints and DNA.

Balla pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced on Monday, June 10 at Southampton Crown Court. Police Staff Investigator Gary Sumner, who led the manslaughter investigation following the death of Anastassios, said: “The circumstances of this case are highly unusual and extremely sad, and we are thankful that the family and loved ones of Anastassios Delis now have justice, seven years after his death and 18 years after his assault.

Arjan Balla was initially sentenced to GBH following the attack in 2006. However, following the victim Anastassios Delis' death in 2017, the police searched for Balla again to charge him with manslaughter.Arjan Balla was initially sentenced to GBH following the attack in 2006. However, following the victim Anastassios Delis' death in 2017, the police searched for Balla again to charge him with manslaughter.
Arjan Balla was initially sentenced to GBH following the attack in 2006. However, following the victim Anastassios Delis' death in 2017, the police searched for Balla again to charge him with manslaughter. | Hampshire Police

“Initial enquiries following the victim’s death were hampered by the fact that Balla had been under a false identity in the UK, even throughout the initial GBH criminal investigation and his imprisonment. That meant that initial efforts to locate him under the name Tahir Karaj were unsuccessful, causing us complex difficulties throughout the investigation.

“Following our own enquiries, alongside the support of the National Crime Agency, we were eventually able to determine that Karaj was in fact named Arjan Balla and he was arrested and charged swiftly after that.

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“We are pleased that Balla will now face the consequences of taking another man’s life in such a senseless and violent assault, and hope that this sentence today demonstrates that we are committed to securing justice for the victims of such horrendous crimes, no matter how much time has passed.”