A burglar kept his electronic tag around his ankle during the six months he was a fugitive after failing to turn up at court.
A warrant was issued for Grant Adams’ arrest when he did not appear to be sentenced for a house raid last December.
During his months as a wanted man, the 37-year-old lived at home and stuck to his tagged curfew without being questioned or apprehended.
Adams ended up behind bars in June only after he committed a second house raid, where he wrote-off the homeowner’s car after stealing the keys during a burglary.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Mr recorder Philip Kramer questioned how the fugitive could be living at home on a tag without being arrested.
The judge asked: “He was on an electronic tag, at large?
He was on an electronic tag, at large? “He has not turned up at court and they haven’t gone and arrested him?Mr recorder Philip Kramer
“He has not turned up at court and they haven’t gone and arrested him?”
The court heard because Adams has abided by the conditions of his tag, which he had on for 401 days, he is entitled to half of that time off his prison sentence.
Adams, of Portchester Square, Pennywell, Sunderland, admitted two charges of burglary, failing to surrender to bail, aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.
The judge jailed him for a total of three years and ten months.
The 201 days credit for being on the tagged curew will be deducted from his sentence.
Prosecutor Stephen Duffield told the cout the first house raid was in April last year at Fencehouses, Wearside, where Adams let himself into an occupied house through the unlocked front door.
He fled empty handed after being disturbed but left a vodka bottle at the scene which carried his DNA and fingerprints.
Adams was arrested and pleaded guilty and was due to be sentenced on December 15 but failed to show up.
Mr Duffiled said: “A warrant was issued for his arrest.
“Infact the warrant was not executed until July 13 2015.”
The court heard by then Adams had targeted a second house, this time in Sunderland, in June.
He smashed a front window and took car keys that had been on a ledge nearby.
The householder’s Ford Fiesta was found in his hometown badly damaged, with his DNA on the gear stick.
Shaun Routledge, defending, said Adams failed to show up for sentence last December because of his ill father.
Mr Routledge said: “He didn’t want to be in prison when his father was so poorly. His father died on January 1 this year.”
Mr Routledge said Adams simply “buried his head” about the court appearance after the death of his father.