A TEENAGE burglar is back behind bars after escaping from jail by removing part of his cell window and going on the run for three weeks.

And 19-year-old father-of-one Lee Quinn was slammed by a judge for lying in court in a bid to explain why he fled jail.

Quinn, who was serving two and a half years, claimed he had been bullied inside the prison and also said he had received upsetting news about his two-year-old son.

But a judge said those were lies in a bid to avoid going back to jail.

Quinn, who had been serving 876 days as a ‘three strike’ burglar, had been locked up last May. He had 18 previous convictions.

The defendant, of Cutler Lane, Stacksteads, admitted the escape and was given another 29 weeks behind bars on top of his original jail term, after a judge said he had ‘tried to play the system’.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Quinn escaped from Thorn Cross Young Offenders' Institute in Warrington on December 30.

He was spotted in Bacup on January 16 and was arrested shortly after having been on the run for 18 days.

Judge Graham Knowles, QC, said: “You clearly lied in the hope of watering down your sentence.”

During the day at Thorn Cross inmates were allowed to move around fairly freely, the court was told but on December 30 Quinn absconded in the evening from his cell.

After being captured he wrote a letter to the court from his cell claiming he had been bullied at Thorn Cross.

He said he also had an upsetting call with his ex-girlfriend about their child and decided to make off.

Judge Newell had told him he might get less than six months in custody if he had a good prison record, independent support for what he said in the letter, or both.

Quinn's telephone calls to his former girlfriend were then investigated and it was found he had not contacted her for 11 days before he escaped.

James Heyworth, for Quinn, said the defendant had wanted to see his son and had been impulsive. There had been no violence and no extensive planning.

A Prison Services spokesman said: “Prison governors actively manage the risk posed by prisoners in an open prison.

“Anyone prisoner whose behaviour poses a concern, which cannot safely be managed, will be returned to a closed prison.”