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Held after 14 months of the rum; Knife suspect is arrested.

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

A FUGITIVE accused of stabbing has given himself up after a year at large.

A manhunt was launched for Joseph Ritson in June last year after another man was knifed in the leg outside a Tyneside social club.

But it took police more than 14 months to catch up with the suspect.

Officers appealed to the public for help to trace the 20-year-old following the incident outside West Denton Social Club, in Westerhope, Newcastle. And after months of inquiries and monitoring his pals, Ritson, who is originally from Newcastle's West End, finally handed himself in at the city's Etal Lane Police Station on Wednesday. He was immediately arrested and subsequently charged with wounding with intent.

A police spokeswoman said: "Joseph Ritson, 20, of no fixed address, has been charged with wounding with intent.

"The incident happened on June 23, 2010 at West Denton Way in Newcastle when a 25-year-old man was assaulted as he left West Denton Social Club."

And Supt Andrea Henderson, of the force's Newcastle Area Command, explained how he was found.

"Following increased activity at addresses of known associates of Ritson, on August 31 he attended Etal Lane Police Station and was arrested on suspicion of the offence," she said.

"He has now been charged and is going through the court process."

The attack happened after an altercation at the club.

The 25-year-old victim suffered a stab wound to his leg which was not life threatening.

A knife was recovered at the scene.

Ritson appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court for a brief hearing on Thursday.

He was charged with wounding and an unrelated theft offence.

The wounding case was sent to Newcastle Crown Court where he will appear later this week.

Ritson was remanded in custody until the next hearing, but will appear before magistrates via video-link to answer the theft charge.

CAPTION(S):

IN CUSTODY Joseph Ritson appeared in court
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 3, 2011
Words:317
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