Police investigating a man who raped a girl multiple times said he admitted his guilt to officers over the phone.
Paul Jones, 42, from Walsall, had been raping the 14-year-old, the West Midlands force said, over a period of about three years.
Police said they made contact by phone as Jones was making his way to Gatwick airport but he was talked into returning to the West Midlands.
He was sentenced to life in prison after admitting nine counts of rape.
His schoolgirl victim told a teacher of her ordeal and police said Jones feared he had been exposed when he decided to flee the country.
He was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 23 February and must serve a minimum of 10 years before being eligible for parole.
Det Insp Jenny Pearson said of the victim: "Her early teenage years have been blighted by what this man put her through."