A teenager who went to take part in a reality television show instead of attending court was arrested when he stepped off a plane home.
Louis Rennocks, 19, of Loughborough was supposed to turn up at Leicester Crown Court to enter a plea on a charge of stealing from a supermarket.
Instead he flew to an island near Fiji in the South Pacific to take part in the Channel Four show Shipwrecked.
On Friday he pleaded not guilty and was granted conditional bail.
Arrested after getting off a plane at Heathrow, Mr Rennocks was in tears when he appeared before the court.
Stuart Gray, defending, said: "It's fair to say that the past 36 hours or so in custody have emphasised to him quite how silly his decision was to leave the country back in November of last year."
The court heard Mr Rennocks had not been due to fly to the South Pacific until after his court appearance on 6 December.
But he received a phone call from Channel 4 on 17 November to say he had to leave the next day if he wanted to take part.
"The reality is that he panicked and took a decision which was the wrong one in the circumstances," said Mr Gray.
Mr Rennocks will stand trial for the charge of shoplifting in February.
Mr Rennocks was selected as a contestant in Shipwrecked in which teams of young people living as castaways compete to stay in a tropical paradise and win a £70,000 prize.