A MAN who has a 'predisposition to burglary – in an enthusiastic way' has missed the chance of being set free from prison on Christmas Eve after going on the run for 12 hours.

Mark Wilks, who is serving a three year sentence for robbery, ruined his own Christmas release after he failed to return to his open prison when he heard that his children had been taken into foster care.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the 44-year-old had been working on a farm on day release from Kirklevington Grange prison on November 4 when he absconded.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said Wilks was reported missing at 3.15pm when he failed to return to the prison bus.

The police were alerted and the defendant was found asleep at his former partner's house by officers are around 3.50am the following morning.

Dealing with the defendant's previous record, Mr Hadfield said: "He had a predisposition to burglary in an enthusiastic way."

Wilks, of Westbourne Grove, Redcar, pleaded guilty to escaping from lawful custody.

In mitigation, Kelleigh Lodge, said her clients actions had cost him the chance of being released on Christmas Eve after he absconded for 12 hours to try and find out why his children had been put into care.

"He has slept at the house and said he intended to go back the next day," she said. "It is unfortunate that he made a lapse in judgement to go back to his former partner's address in relation to his children.

"He has lost out on the opportunity for home release with a curfew and he was due to be released on Christmas Eve,

"He has last that and will now not be released until May 2020 and he has lost all of his privileges in the prison as well as a result of his actions."

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced Wilks to 28 days in custody for absconding and ordered that they be served concurrently alongside his three-year sentence for robbery.

She told the defendant that he had lost the opportunity to leave prison before Christmas due to his offending.

"You were working on a local farm and failed to return," she said. "It seems that it was not the most significant amount of time in your case but the police went to your former partner's house where they found you and you were found after just 12 hours after it was noticed that you were missing – it will never be known how long you would have absconded for but you did say that intended to hand yourself in.

"I will sentence you to 28 days in custody starting from today and that will run concurrently with your sentence – you will now be released in May 2020."