Killer jailed 11 years after smashing businessman in the head

Arjan Balla has been jailed for another year after the man he punched died seven years after the attack (Picture: PA/Solent)

A man who brutally beat up his boss has been jailed for a second time because the victim died 11 years after the attack.

Albanian Arjan Balla, 41, was sentenced to another year in prison for his assault on Anastassios Delis in 2006, after being jailed for three years in 2007 and then deported.

Balla, who later returned to the UK and, most recently, has been living in Surrey, was hauled back to court after Mr Dels died from his injuries in 2017.

At a court hearing for the case today, a judge told Balla, ‘the taking of a human life should be acknowledged even as late as this’.

Before the attack, Balla had entered the UK illegally and was working for Mr Delis’ steel firm under a fake name, Tahir Karaj.

Southampton Crown Court, Hants, heard Balla confronted Mr Delis – 57 at the time – in November 2006 just days after the businessman sacked him.

Balla confronted the father-of-three at a site in Southampton demanding his job back and after a heated encounter punched him on the head and kicked him on the floor.

Balla , 24 at the time, was angry his boss had sacked him (Picture: CPS/PA Wire)

He rushed to hospital and emergency surgery, Mr Delis was left unable to breathe for himself and could only open his eyes.

The court was told how he sustained ‘serious head injuries’ and suffered ‘severe impairment of consciousness’.

The rest of his life was spent at a care home receiving round-the-clock care.

Mr Delis’s wife, Christine Delis, said Balla had inflicted ‘living death’ on her husband.

Under the alias of Karaj, Balla was prosecuted and jailed in 2007 for three years for causing grievous bodily harm.

He was deported to his home country of Albania, still maintaining his fake identity.

Mr Delis died on December 12, 2017, aged 68 after developing pneumonia.

A postmortem found that his death was as a result of the delayed effects of the head injury caused in November 2006.

Prosecutor Sally Howes KC said: ‘There is no doubt that the initial head injury was the underlying cause.’

An application was made to reopen criminal proceedings against Balla, who was arrested whilst re-entering the country at Stansted Airport.

He had been living in Whyteleafe, Surrey, since 2020 with his family at the time.

He admitted manslaughter and was today jailed for one year.

Police at the scene of the attack in Queensway, Southampton, in 2006 (Picture: Daily Echo/Solent News)

Judge Christopher Parker KC said: ‘The taking of human life should be acknowledged even as late as this.

‘The passage of time does not erase the impact of what you did all those years ago.’

Judge Parker KC said it was a ‘planned confrontation in which there was a highly predictable escalation into violence.

He said: ‘There were two or three blows. When he was on the ground he was kicked unnecessarily as it turned out.’

In a statement read out in the previous court proceedings, Ms Delis said her life had been ‘destroyed’, describing her husband as ‘a hardworking man who has worked all of his life’.

Matthew Farmer, defending, said his client ‘expresses his remorse’ and takes ‘responsibility for what happened’.

He added: ‘When he took the decision he made to confront Mr Delis back in 2006 he was 24.

‘What he did is something he is and will always be ashamed of.

‘I cannot maintain that it is a one-punch manslaughter. But it is not far off it.

‘He was, reading between the lines, I would submit, essentially trying to get his job back.’

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