A drunken cannabis user spent five hours wandering around with his hands cuffed behind his back after doing a runner from a police car.

George Ousley was so drunk and stoned after a binge that he went into the home of a complete stranger after mistaking it for that of a friend.

He was arrested and cuffed after the family who lived there heard him banging around inside their bathroom and called the police.

The 21-year-old was handcuffed and put into the back of a police car but conned a constable into opening the door by claiming he was about to vomit.

Ousley leapt out and legged it into the night, taking refuge at a friend’s house while 13 police, a tracker dog and the police helicopter scoured Barnstaple for him.

He eventually walked into the police station and handed himself in after realising it was the only way he could get the cuffs removed.

Ousley, of Church Lake , Landkey, admitted escaping from custody and possession of cannabis.

He was jailed for seven months, suspended for 15 months, curfewed for four months, and ordered to receive 15 days supervision.

Sentencing at Exeter Crown Court Judge Peter Johnson told him he would go to jail if there was any repeat of his behaviour.

Caroline Bolt, prosecuting, said police were called on the night of June 24 by a family who reported hearing banging noises from an intruder who had locked himself into their bathroom.

Ousley was arrested with four bags of cannabis in his pocket and cuffed with his hands behind his back and was still wearing them when he ran off from the police car.

Miss Bolt said: “The officer chased him but lost sight of him. Various resources were deployed including a dog and a helicopter.

“At one stage there were 13 police searching for a number of hours.

“He arrived five hours later at Barnstaple police station still handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

“He said he could not remember what he had done because of alcohol and cannabis.”

A probation report said he rated himself ten out of ten on a scale of drunkenness and unable to make rational decisions.

William Parkhill, defending, said Ousley had not planned the escape or hurt anyone during it. He would lose his job as a waiter if he were sent to jail.

He added: “He did not go out looking for trouble. He seems to be a young man who has no grown up.

“He got himself in such a state he staggered towards what he thought was a friend’s house and found himself in a stranger’s home.”