A DEFENDANT who removed an ankle monitoring tag and fled court earlier in the week, has been produced in the dock following his subsequent arrest on a warrant.

Tyler Ophield left Durham Crown Court after a brief discussion with his instructing lawyers, before his scheduled appearance at a plea hearing, on Monday.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and the court has since heard that Ophield had been detained in midweek but was in hospital.

He was finally produced from custody at the court today (Friday May 20), when the charges he is facing were put to him.

The 19-year-old defendant, of Glebe Avenue, Easington Colliery, admitted burglary with intent to steal, at a farmhouse at Little Thorpe, between Horden and Easington Village, on April 10.

He also admitted robbery and possession of a knife at a convenience store in Easington Colliery from where he took £1,200, on January 17.

On a third indictment he admitted aggravated vehicle taking of a Jeep Patriot and a Mercedes Sprinter, plus attempted theft of a BMW and criminal damage to a metal barrier, all said to have been committed on February 22.

Read more: Fresh warrant to arrest of County Durham teen upon release from hospital

The court was told Ophield is, “relatively lightly previously convicted.”

Judge Ray Singh said: “Something seems to have happened in his life given that he was lightly convicted.”

He asked for preparation of a background report on Ophield by the Probation Service before he is sentenced.

Judge Singh told the defendant: “You were here on Monday and then disappeared and I understand it was because you got ‘cold feet’ as to what was going to happen to you.

“It would have been better for you if you had stayed in the building.”

Judge Singh remanded the defendant to remain in custody prior to the sentencing hearing on Thursday July 7.

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