A hapless criminal lay helpless for hours after he fell down a flight of stairs and broke his arm during a botched break-in.
Michael Lebon was only caught when police heard his desperate cries for help and found him prostrate at the bottom of a flight of steps.
Lebon, 46, was also suffering pain in his right hip and thigh after plunging down the stairs and into the walled loading area of Sports Direct in Gloucester.
Gloucester Crown Court heard police were called after the shop’s alarm went off but found no sign of any intruder and thought he’d made a clean getaway.
They drove off, leaving one officer at the scene to await shop staff and board up a shattered window.
It was only after the widow was fixed and the police officer was leaving that he heard faint cries for help from the rear of the building.
Shining his torch into a dark basement courtyard loading area with 20ft high walls, the officer was amazed to find Lebon, of Stanley Cottages, Stroud Road, lying there.
He was arrested and taken straight to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for treatment.
He pleaded guilty to raiding the shop in Northgate Street, Gloucester, on April 28 and also admitted breaking into the Holland and Barrett shop in Eastgate Street with intent to steal on the same night.
The court also heard he broke into Doctor’s pub in Eastgate Street on June 12 having been caught on CCTV removing a giant TV from the wall and struggling to get it out of a window he had broken.
Lebon left the TV behind but then went out through a door that he could easily have got the TV through.
He was caught because his blood was found at the scene and matched his DNA.
Lebon also admitted an offence of having a knife in public in Finlay Road, Gloucester. He was jailed for a total of 19 and a half months.
Prosecutor Janine Wood said £546.61 was found on him.
The shop manager estimated £1,259.27 had been stolen but the rest of the money had never been found and it was possible it was still somewhere in the roof area of the building.
Lebon has a prolific record of previous offending – 37 convictions for a total of 122 offences.
Sarah Jenkins, defending, said his memory of the offences was not very clear.