Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relief as Knife Fugitive Is Held after Six Years; Manhunt over as He's Finally Arrested

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relief as Knife Fugitive Is Held after Six Years; Manhunt over as He's Finally Arrested

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

FUGITIVE John Graham Tams is today behind bars after six years on the run as one of Tyneside's Most Wanted villains.

Tams vanished after being arrested for an unprovoked knife attack on an innocent teenager who was outside a pub where he was enjoying a quiet drink with his girlfriend.

He stabbed Richard Turnbull seven times in the back in the crazed attack leaving the 19-year-old fighting for life.

Tams was arrested in March 2006, but after being charged with grievous bodily harm and affray, he was released on bail and instead of turning up at court, he disappeared.

Police launched a huge manhunt for the 31-year-old, but he evaded justice and was convicted in his absence and sentenced to seven years for the assault.

However, detectives never gave-up looking for Tams and after following up a number of new leads, their breakthrough eventually came on Friday.

He was arrested at a house in Newcastle's West End and sent straight to jail to serve his time at last.

Today, after hearing the news her son's attacker was finally behind bars, Richard's mum Janice has told of the family's relief.

The 53-year-old, of Cheviot View Estate, Newcastle, said: "We are just really relieved and happy he's finally been caught and that justice has been done after all this time.

"Richard didn't deserve what happened to him, but we have just had to live with it. It was awful to think that he was walking around all this time.

"It was always on our minds that he was out there. How could someone do something like that and be walking the streets."

Richard had been enjoying a quiet drink at the Peregrine pub in Chapel House in Newcastle when Tams entered the pub, on March 10, 2011, with accomplices Daniel Kavanagh and Thomas Tams.

John Tams was seen waving a Samurai sword, shouting for Richard saying: "Where are you? I will chop you up," The teenager was outside the bar having a cigarette while chatting to a friend on his mobile phone when he was stabbed seven times in the back.

The blade narrowly missed his lung. All three played a part in the attack.

Although Richard, who works as a chef, has now recovered from his physical injuries, Janice said he is still haunted by the attack, which came close to killing him. …

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