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12 years jail for man who slashed woman’s face - after we tracked him to Scotland

A thug who launched a shocking Christmas Eve attack on a woman - slashing her across the face - has been jailed for 12 years after we tracked him down in Scotland.

Keelan Burke left the 22-year-old with a seven-inch wound running from the middle of her forehead down her cheek after a fight broke out in Bentley Lane, Willenhall, at 11.30pm on 24 December 2018.

Keelan Burke

Earlier in the evening Burke, from the Willenhall area of Walsall, had punched the woman and threw a drink in her face during a row at The Bridge pub where the victim was meeting friends for festive drinks.

The two groups later clashed outside the venue during which the 24-year-old lashed out with either a knife of glass; she needed 26 stitches and is now permanently scarred.

Injury photo
The horrific injuries Burke caused

Burke fled the scene - along with another man suspected of possessing a knife - and travelled to Scotland on Christmas Day in a bid to evade capture.

However, mobile phone analysis enabled West Midlands Police detectives to track his journey late on Christmas Day into Boxing Day and established Burke had a connection to an address in Peterhead near Aberdeen.

They liaised with colleagues in Police Scotland and in the early house of 5 January Burke was arrested outside a nightclub in the town.

He went on to be charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm plus common assault and at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday (28 Feb) was jailed for 12 years having been found guilty following a two-week trial.

Investigating officer, PC Laura Dolan, said: “The row started after the victim heard Burke on his phone threatening to attack one of her friends - and when she confronted him he punched her in the face and threw a drink over her.

“Her friends challenged Burke over what happened and both he and an associate responded by lashing out with weapons. It was a gross and grotesque over reaction and has left this young lady scarred for life.

“Burke clearly though that putting distance between himself and the offence, by fleeing to Scotland, would keep the police off his back. But in just a matter of days we’d managed to track him down to face justice.

“I hope the victim can take some consolation that her attacker has been put behind bars for many years where he is no longer a danger to the public."


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