A Phnom Penh inmate today was sentenced to an additional 18 months in prison after attempting to escape just two months before the end of his two-year sentence for theft.

Judge Tob Chun Heng said in today’s hearing that 34-year old construction worker Ban Kreak had briefly escaped from Phnom Penh’s PJ prison on April 28 last year.

During his hearing last Thursday, Kreak said he escaped when the guards let him and seven other prisoners work in the courtyard.

“I did not plan to run away,” he said. “In prison we were free and the police just ignored us. I just walked out from prison. I changed my shirt but kept the same prison trousers, and took a motodop. I escaped because I could not endure anymore. I missed home because my family had a problem.”

A police report on the escape read out in court stated that Kreak escaped from prison by climbing up the western wall of the prison and then took a motodop who was waiting outside. Police put out an alert, and arrested Kreak near Wat Phnom an hour later and brought him back to prison.

Kreak did not speak to reporters after hearing the verdict today.