Leeds man who fled the country jailed 18 years after baseball bat attack

Mark Evans fled to Ireland following a violent attack

Mark Evans was tried at Leeds Crown Court

A man has been jailed nearly two decades after he carried out a revenge baseball bat attack on a rival during a dispute over a motorbike.

Mark Evans fled the country after he carried out serious assault in Swillington on July 11 in 2002

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Following the attack the victim needed surgery to a serious facial wound.

Leeds Crown Court heard Evans failed to attend court for trial after being bailed following the incident.

He was traced to the Republic of Ireland and was arrested in December last year at Heathrow Airport.

‘Bad blood’ between accused and victim

Andrew Dallas, prosecuting, said Evans and the victim knew each other and there was "bad blood" between them.

The victim had a garage business at the rear of his home and had done work for Evans in the past.

On the day of the incident the victim was at home with two other men when the defendant arrived armed with a baseball bat along with another man who was carrying a knife.

The man with the knife threatened one of the victim's friends with the weapon.

The victim walked towards Evans with his arms raised in self defence before he was attacked with a baseball bat.

Mr Dallas said the victim suffered a serious wound to his head and required surgery.

Evans, of West View, Micklefield, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and breach of bail.

‘Unusual case’

Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said there were "unusual features" to the case.

He added: "Nothing I am going to say excuses the defendant's behaviour."

Mr Sugare said Evans and the man had known each other for about five years before the attack.

He said: "The defendant had two motorbikes which he stored about half a milf away from where (the victim) lived.

"The motorbikes were taken in a burglary.

"The next thing he knew he was offered his own bike for sale by a third party who told him that (the victim) had sold him the bike.

"Obviously (the victim) is not here to answer what the defendant says."

Mr Sugare added: "There was motive for what he did, although unjustifiable motive."

Evans was jailed for 32 months.

Judge Penelope Belcher said: "Whatever the position, it gave you no right to take the law into your own hands."

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site the Yorkshire Evening Post