Jeffrey Parker, 52, said he bought some rope and was going to kill himself, but then decided to head overseas, emptied his bank account of £160 and boarded the Eurostar.
He claimed he worked in hotels and bars abroad in return for free lodgings, Teesside Crown Court was told today.
He stayed away for almost eight months before he came back to seek medical attention for kidney stones after overstaying a Moroccan visa.
He was arrested at Heathrow Airport on November 25 last year, said prosecutor Jenny Haigh.
His adventures flouted the law following his 2011 conviction and 30-month jail term for sexual activity with a girl under 13 and making indecent photographs of children.
Considered a high-risk offender, he was visited by public protection officers every three months before he staged his vanishing act on April 1.
When police went to his home, they found he had left a next of kin box and a letter saying he wanted to control his own death.
Parker, of no fixed address, admitted four charges of breaching sex offender notification requirements by failing to make contact with police or tell them of his travels, whereabouts or new passport.
This was the second time he ended up in the dock for such offences. He was jailed for breaching the order in 2013.
Alex Bousfield, defending, said Parker was “racked with guilt” for his previous sex offending.
He said: “He tells me he hates himself for what he did. He can’t understand why he did it. He can’t bear to think about it.
“He does seem to be somebody who has learned from what he did and has no intention or interest in repeating that kind of behaviour.”
He said Parker was desperate to run away after he encountered someone who had tormented him as a child.
“He just wanted to get away. It wasn’t really until he was abroad he thought about what he had done and it was too late to do anything about it.
“He’d gone out without any great plan about how he was going to keep himself.
“He worked in receptions, bars and hotels. He was able to provide services to them without pay but in exchange for keep.
“There’s no suggestion of any further offending while he was out there. He was working with adults. There’s no suggestion of anything untoward.
“He came back to this country because he was suffering with kidney stones. He came back for medical reasons. He was arrested from the plane.”
Judge Sean Morris said the offences were worrying and had some hallmarks of planning, noting Parker took out travel insurance.
He told Parker: “You spent a few days in France and a few days in Spain before your destination of choice, which was Morocco.
“We only have your say-so for what happened out there. I understand you were working in bars and hotels, places where people go on holiday with their children.
“I take the view the likelihood is if you could have, you would have stayed away.
“You have to understand that if you just comply with these conditions you can live a virtually normal existence. You flouted them and the law must take its course.”
He jailed Parker for one year.