A burglar fell through a ceiling after hiding in an attic as he tried to avoid police.

Cameron David Hunter, 23, landed on a bed in a room where police officers were waiting for him, York Crown Court heard.

Hunter struggled so hard to avoid arrest, he dislocated a police officer's s kneecap, said Brooke Morrison, prosecuting.

The officer, a former Army instructor, was off work for 10 weeks.

Hunter also pushed a second officer in the chest and tried to bite both officers. They had to summon help from a third officer and Hunter was finally subdued with incapacitating gas, the court heard.

Released on bail, he trashed three flats in one building as he raided them for cash, a laptop, tobacco and other items on September 20, 2023.

He was then remanded in prison.

“He wants to say thank you for sending him into custody,” defence barrister Amber Hobson told York Crown Court.

“He believes it was the best thing to happened to him. It has enabled him to get clean from drugs and engage in the work he needs to do.”

Hunter, of Friars Garden, Scarborough, was jailed for 30 months and two weeks. He pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm, assaulting a police emergency worker, three burglaries and failure to comply with a suspended prison sentence imposed for possessing cannabis with intent to supply it.

Ms Morrison said police found Hunter hiding in an attic on July 20, 2023, when he was wanted on warrant for breaching a domestic violence prevention order, and tried to persuade him to come down.

“He fell through the ceiling into one of the bedrooms, landing on the bed,” said Ms Morrison.

While one policeman grabbed him in a bear hug, Hunter hooked a leg round a second  policeman’s leg and brought him down, dislocating the officer's kneecap.

Judge Simon Hickey said it had been a “life-changing” injury. The officer had suffered “excruciating pain”, couldn’t move his leg, had received morphine from paramedics at the scene, had had to wear a brace for two weeks and had suffered knock-on effects after his return to work.

On September 20, Hunter had kicked in the doors to the three flats and had “trashed” them as he searched for items to steal.

Ms Morrison said Hunter had stolen a laptop, £1,300 in cash, including one tenant’s £400 rental money and another tenant’s money for his energy meter.

Ms Hobson said: “He is incredibly sorry for the disgraceful actions he has carried out. When he reflects he is absolutely disgusted by his behaviour.”

At the time, he had been immature and had been taking drugs. His mental health had also been poor. Since being remanded in custody, he had got himself drug-free and now didn’t even smoke.

He had done restorative justice and other rehabilitation courses to change himself, the court was told.