A DEFENDANT went straight to Tenerife from the cells at York Magistrates Court.

Robert Page headed for Manchester Airport as soon as he was released by the court.

The bricklayer had been arrested on a warrant hours before he was due to fly out on a pre-booked family holiday to the Canary Islands.

He faced a charge of stealing two bottles of wine worth £17.20.

York magistrates heard his case had originally been listed during the time he expected to be out of the country.

He had asked for the hearing to be brought forward – but didn't attend court on the new date.

His solicitor Mark Whitfield said he never received notification of the new date.

Page's partner sat in the public gallery anxiously watching the clock as he was brought up from the court cells.

Page, 30, of Scarborough, pleaded guilty to theft from Sainsbury's in Scarborough.

Magistrates fined him £166 and ordered him to pay £17.20 compensation, plus £85 prosecution costs and a £30 statutory surcharge.

They wished him a pleasant holiday.

They told him he was the author of his own misfortune. They heard that police had originally given him a conditional caution provided he paid the full compensation.

Had he done so, he would have avoided being summonsed to court. But he failed to pay up.

Mr Whitfield said he had forgotten to pay. Page earns £500 a week.

The court estimated that provided Page left court by 11.30am, he could catch his flight. The case finished at 11.15am.