Prosecutors reveal how a killer was caught after using a false name for years

The killer, who almost 11 years later caused “catastrophic” brain damage to his boss that led to his death, evaded capture for five years using a false name.

Arjan Balla (41) had been wanted for half a decade after the Crown Prosecution Service approved manslaughter charges against him in December 2019.

He had previously been convicted of grievous bodily harm for attacking his former boss, Anastassios Delis, in 2006 in Southampton.

After only a year in prison, he was deported to his native Albania. At that time, he used the pseudonym Tahir Karaj.

However, after Delis’ death in December 2017, it was determined that injuries sustained during the initial attack were to blame and a new case was opened.

READ MORE: A man dies 11 years after being hit in Southampton as his killer is jailed

An Interpol-led investigation to locate him was initially unsuccessful, but on January 23, 2024, following investigations by Hampshire Constabulary, the National Crime Agency, Interpol and the Albanian authorities, Albanian authorities confirmed his real name.

The inquest also heard that Balla was due to return to the UK on a flight to Stanstead Airport just three days later.

When the plane from Albania landed, Balla was arrested – his fingerprints and DNA confirmed that he was the right man.

On Monday, Balla was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Southampton Crown Court.

Daily Echo: Police at the scene of attack in Queensway, Southampton

Police at the scene of the attack in Queensway, Southampton (Photo: NQ)

Anthony Johns, senior crown prosecutor at CPS Wessex, said: “This was an incredibly tragic case, spanning almost two decades and involving organizations from across the criminal justice system and our international partners in Europe.

“Although Mr. Delis lived 11 years after the attack, he did not regain consciousness, depriving him and his loved ones of a future together.

“When it became clear that Mr. Delis had died as a direct result of Balla’s actions, we were determined to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and demonstrate that neither time nor evasion would stand in the way of justice.

“The strength of our case meant Balla had no option but to plead guilty, sparing Mr Delis’ family a criminal trial.

“They are undoubtedly living victims of what Balla did that day in 2006 and I hope today’s sentence will help them move forward with their lives.”