In the dock — after 18 years on the run
A MAN who has been on the run for 18 years has finally appeared in the dock.
Morriston man John Tadgh Condon had been living with the woman he was accused of assaulting in 1993, and had two children.
He was meant to have appeared at Swansea Crown Court to stand trial on January 10, 1994, but failed to attend because he was scared of the consequences, his barrister said.
He was arrested this week after he was given a police caution for criminal damage on Tuesday and details of the outstanding warrant alerted officers.
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Condon had pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault against his partner in August 1993 at their then home in Parc Gwernfadog, Morriston.
She needed 25 stitches following the alleged assault, which left her with a 5cm cut.
Swansea Crown Court was told this week that over the last 18 years Condon had moved in with his partner and the couple had two children.
Condon, 39, formerly of Lon Manor, Morriston, admitted breaching his bail.
Swansea Crown Court was told he first went to Ireland, and then moved to Redditch in the Midlands.
Ieuan Rees, prosecuting, asked for an adjournment in the assault case so the Crown Prosecution Service could track down their files.
"It hasn't been possible to locate the CPS file so we'd invite you to adjourn to determine where we go next in this matter," he said.
John Hipkin, defending Condon, said: "The position is aggravated by the length of time that the defendant has avoided his bail conditions." But he added that "having said that" he had pleaded guilty to the breach of bail.
"The reason he didn't attend was due to his fear of the consequences."
He accepted the judge would give his client a custodial sentence for failing to attend.
Judge Thomas jailed him for two months for absconding, and adjourned the assault case until September 13.
"It seems to me that I should sentence you for the first offence of absconding. Your failing to attend in 1994 has caused substantial delay in the case and the administration of justice," said the judge.
"It's to your credit you have no other previous convictions other than a recent caution which led to your arrest," he added.