A DEFENDANT who was about to be jailed fled court before his sentencing.

Adam James Allison, 21, of Esh Winning, was in court for vandalising his neighbour’s car and slashing her tyres – but he was in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed months before.

As magistrates came back in following their deliberations at the court in Newton Aycliffe, Allison fled the building.

A warrant without bail was issued for his arrest.

Allison had admitted criminal damage and breaching a suspended sentence order.

The court heard that the victim had lived in her property for about five years with no problems until a dispute between Allison, who lived next door, and her husband.

Emma Shea, prosecuting, said: “Trouble started between the defendant and her husband when her husband gave the defendant a job. At about 6.30 one morning she has received a Facebook message saying she needed to check her vehicle parked outside the address.”

A probation report said there were some learning difficulties and Allison needed help understanding certain concepts. The court heard there were also some mental health problems.

Magistrates read out the sentence they intended to impose, which was 16 weeks in prison, £500 compensation and £115 costs, but this will be confirmed once Allison reappears in court.