They thought client was just late

They were the lawyers representing Wilson Raj Perumal in 2009.

Previously convicted for theft and match-fixing, Wilson Raj then faced five years of corrective training for attacking an auxiliary police officer, hitting the man with his car and driving without a licence or insurance.

When their client did not show up, lawyers Sunil Sudheesan and the late Subhas Anandan thought he was late for court. They then grew increasingly annoyed, thinking their client did not have the courtesy to call.

"After a while, you start to realise that maybe he has run," said Mr Sunil.

He added that the lawyers called their colleagues who were in the office and asked them to try to get hold of Wilson Raj.

"The calls went unanswered and you think to yourself, 'That's it, he's run'," Mr Sunil said.

"We then had to look through our records about when we last met him, what our last contact was. And you tell the judge everything you know."