A MAN who was jailed for failing to attend court, before being given a chance by a judge to avoid another custodial sentence, has managed to dodge a second spell in prison.

Gintaras Vitkausas, 27, was due to appear at Preston Crown Court on March 19, 2018, charged with theft from a motor vehicle, going equipped for theft, possession of an offensive weapon and having a bladed article in a public place.

After absconding from this court appearance, police released an appeal to find Vitkausas so he could be sentenced, and once caught, he was jailed by Judge Richard Gioserano for eight weeks.

Upon his release in March this year, Judge Gioserano then deferred his sentencing for the original four charges, which took place in February 2018, giving Vitkausas a period of four months to prove he could stay out of trouble.

And on Wednesday, Vitkausas appeared before Judge Gioserano again, at Preston Crown Court, to be sentenced for the original charges.

Defence barrister Tom Lord told the court his client had complied with the terms of the deferment and had attended all his appointments via telephone.

He said: “His motivation is very high and his thinking has been altered.”

Judge Gioserano said: “You pleaded guilty in the end to the four offences.

“These were theft of a sat nav, going equipped for theft, possession of an offensive weapon, namely a police baton, and possession of a meat cleaver.

“These offences are two-and-a-half years old," the judge added.

"Why it took so long is because you absconded from your bail.

“You were caught of course and served a prison sentence for failing to attend and and for other offending which was dealt with at the magistrates court.

“You’ve had your first time in custody now and I am happy that you are in no hurry to go back and you’ve learned something from that.

“You’ve complied with the terms I imposed on you so I am going to give you an opportunity to prove yourself.”

Vitkauskas, of Holly Street, Nelson, was handed a 12-month community order, with 150 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to carry out 20 days of rehabilitation activity.