A THIEF who walked out on a court case to see his newborn baby has been jailed.

Raymond Lee, 28, of Laburnum Drive, Newport, was awaiting sentence for theft when he left Cwmbran Magistrates Court last month.

Judge Rhys Rowlands sentenced Lee to 14 weeks in prison for escaping from custody to run consecutive to a 36 week sentence he is already serving for previous crimes.

Prosecuting barrister Gareth James said Lee was at court on August 23 and due to be sentenced for theft.

Magistrates had retired to consider the sentence to be imposed, then later came back to announce their decision.

But after Lee learned from his solicitor that he was going to be imprisoned, he left the court, the court heard.

Lee was arrested on August 26. When interviewed by police Lee said his partner had recently given birth to a baby boy and he wanted to spend time with his child.

Gareth Williams, representing Lee, said the escape was short sighted and foolish, and said Lee knew he faced a custodial sentence.

Judge Rowlands said although there was no force or violence in the escape "the authority's make it clear that custody is inevitable".