Sick hospital patients watched in horror as police Tasered a burglar twice – in the middle of Scarborough A&E.
Officers shot Stephen Atkinson with the 50,000-volt stun gun after he tried to flee casualty while he was in their custody.
But the 52-year-old pulled the barbs from his back and made another dash towards freedom – but only for police to have to zap him again.
Within 24 hours of the shocking incident, Atkinson was jailed for a string of crimes.
This included a burglary at his empty old Grovenor Crescent flat, where Atkinson stole £30 from an appliance.
But he was snared when he left a blood trail after smashing a window.
Disheveled Atkinson was brought before Scarborough Magistrates in cuffs on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to four offences.
And at the Scarborough Magistrates hearing, the court heard how on Sunday afternoon, he was rushed from custody to hospital after complaining of chest pains.
But shortly after arriving, his initial escape attempt was foiled - when police captured him in trying to break out via the toilets.
In a “blind panic and desperate to escape”, he ripped out panels in order to make his way out via the crawl space.
He was captured, but told police : “My head is done in - I’ve got to get out of here.”
It was on that note that he ran for the door - and the police took aim.
But the court heard that the second time the Taser was discharged, it had no effect on Atkinson - as he had been “fiddling” with the barbs when he pulled them out of his back.
The court heard how the drama unfolded in casualty, in front of scores of poorly patients - some of whom were confined to nearby beds.
In mitigation, solicitor Marcus Topham said the ex-borstal boy felt he needed to run after “feeling paranoid” on the toilet.
And he added his sofa surfing client, who possess a “heavy” criminal record, actually welcomed a jail term, in order to help him combat his demons
“His mind has been elsewhere as far as his mental health is concerned,” said Mr Topham, who added that Atkinson often “drinks to excess”.
“He hopes to dry out”.
Atkinson had originally pleaded not guilty to the burglary in November, but changed his plea at Monday’s morning hearing.
He also admitted other offences, including resisting arrest, with an admitted failed bail charge added.
But despite Mr Topham claiming he had not been violent during the arrest, the probation service told the court that there had been “no progress” made by Mr Atkinson on orders imposed for previous offences.
And magistrates took a dim view of not only Atkinson’s “persistent” non-compliance, but also the scenes that unfolded in A&E in front of “vulnerable” members of the public.
He silently nodded to the bench as he was jailed for a combined total of 16 weeks.
The Tasering happened just days after a ‘cannibal killer’ Matthew Williams died after being shot with the device after murdering 22-year-old Cerys Yemm.
A police probe into the use of the Taser at the hospital is now expected to be held by North Yorkshire Police, although the inquest is standard practice for the force.