A BRAZEN fugitive who taunted Essex Police on their own Facebook page wept as he was jailed for eight months.

Wanted man, Joe Barlow, who lived in Laindon, was snared by cops while hiding out in Stondon Massey, after more than two and half months on the run from police.

Essex Police posted his mugshot on their Facebook page on May 3, with an urgent appeal for members of the public to report sightings of him.

Hours later Barlow began his online taunts, writing: “Can’t catch me,” and said he would not turn himself in until he had a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Barlow was handed an eight month prison sentence for five separate matters when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.

One of them included breaching a suspended sentence handed to him in March 2012 for stealing £8,500 of his grandparents’ savings to pay for drugs.

The court heard he went to his grandparents’ house and took cash they had been saving to get their windows replaced, then travelled to Cornwall to spend the cash.

Barlow, 20, admitted criminal damage and assaulting his mum on Valentines Day this year when he appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court, in February.

His case was sent to Basildon Crown Court to be sentenced on March 26, but he didn’t turn up and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

He was finally caught near Brentwood, on Wednesday.

Barlow, dressed in a red prisonissue tracksuit, sobbed throughout the hearing as his mum and girlfriend sat in the public gallery.

His solicitor, Mark Savage, said his time on the run stemmed from a fear of court and going to prison.

He said he committed a number of offences whilst in a “toxic relationship”

with an ex partner.

He said: “This young man is clearly distressed at being back in front of the court.

“This is not a man coming to court swaggering with bravado and his mother is here at court to support him.”

The court heard Barlow has a string of previous convictions for battery, destroying property and common assault.

Sentencing, Recorder Tim Clark said: “You are clearly an unstable young man who has a bad criminal record.

“You continue to commit criminal offences which are aggrevated by the fact the victims are members of your own family.

“You are fortunate still to have the support of your family.

“You cannot just not appear at court and put your head in the sand as an act of fear.”

He was jailed for eight months for common assault, criminal damage, breaching a suspended sentence order, committing an offence while subject to a suspended sentence order and failing to appear at court.