A fleeing thief ran head-first into a bus as he made his getaway from staff who caught him stealing a tub of protein powder.
Magistrates in Sunderland heard John Jones, 50, was lucky to be alive after he shattered the windscreen of the vehicle in Fawcett Street, Sunderland, on July 12.
Jones was making his getaway from the nearby Protein Superstore, after stealing protein supplement worth £32.99.
Prosecutor Glenda Beck said the incident happened at 3.30pm, when counter were alerted to Jones leaving the chop.
Ms Beck said: “The witness said ‘hold on mate’ and Jones stopped and returned to the shop. He asked him if he’d taken anything, and he said he hadn’t.
“The witness could see a bulge under the front of the defendant’s jacket. It was a tub of sleep aid supplement, valued at £32.99.
He takes a jar of protein, which you can easily tell wasn’t for his own use. Then he runs, unfortunately, into a bus. He was very lucky not to be killedGerry Armstrong, defending
“He returned it to the member of staff who could still see a bulge under the defendant’s jacket.
“He denied other items were concealed and ran off down Fawcett Street.
“Regrettably for him, he was struck by a bus.”
She added: “The defendant’s head struck the front windscreen which caused it to shatter and the defendant fell to the ground.
“Moments later he was up and running off.”
Jones, of Torquay Road, Thorney Close, admitted theft.
Gerry Armstrong, defending, said: “I can’t even get a straightforward shop theft. He took a jar of protein, which you can easily tell wasn’t for his own use, then he runs, unfortunately, into a bus.
“He was very lucky not to have been killed.
“I think we can say for certainty that there was nothing concealed on his person, because he was under a bus.
“He was apprehended at Jacky White’s Market.
“Police were called, not because of the theft, but because he has a head injury.”
He was later charged with theft.
Jones, who had been sentenced to a 12-month community order with nine months’ drug rehabilitation, a week before his court appearance for the theft, was given a six-month conditional discharge and was told to pay a £20 victim surcharge.