He was once known as Kingston’s “second most-wanted international fugitive” but he has now been given an absolute discharge in a criminal case brought eight years ago.

Dr Howard Fredrics, a former music lecturer at Kingston University, was convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby in Wood Street, Kingston, on July 23, 2009.

After fleeing the country because of what he described as “anti-Semitic death threats” made to him and his wife Lori, he missed his court date and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was named in 2012 as number two on a list made by Kingston Police of most wanted people believed to have fled the country. Police believed he initially feld to the United States.

He was summoned to Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court, to appear on October 10 in the same case.

In a written reply to the court, Dr Fredrics, who formerly lived in Hampton Wick, gave several reasons why he would not attend. They included that death threats were making him fear for his life should he return to the UK and that there was a likelihood of him being denied entry at the border. Lack of money for travel was another reason given by Dr Fredrics.

The case was adjourned until October 12 at the request of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), when he was given an absolute discharge.

He said in an email to Surrey Comet: "This obviously means that the court found there should be no punishment whatsoever.

"I am just amazed that the court and CPS felt it appropriate to have pursued this matter in the first instance. What a total waste of public resources."

Dr Fredrics was sacked from Kingston University in 2006 after working there since 2002.