A thief who avoided prison by saying he had a bad back has been locked up after a local newspaper reported on his footballing exploits.
Adam Harrison, 25, had originally been given a suspended sentence when he was caught stealing lead from a Salvation Army church roof in his hometown of Macclesfield last July.
During the robbery, he tried to flee down a drainpipe but instead plunged 40ft and hurt his back — the courts showed mercy when sentencing him the following month and suspended his jail term.
Last October he was back in court and ordered to do unpaid work in lieu of his jail sentence but Harrison said he couldn't due to his back.
However, a court official then saw a report in the local paper that said Harrison had scored a hat-trick for his pub's football team.
Police then turned up at his next match and arrested him as soon as the game finished.
Harrison was still in the dock the following day when he was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison after admitting to breaching the terms of his suspended sentence.
Magistrate Colin Winder said: "You've been cocking a snook at the system for far too long. You have not completed any of the court orders and in the meantime have been playing football.
"You have been trying to get away with this but now you are going to prison."
The court rejected the argument of Harrison's lawyer, Caroline King, who had told the magistrates he had been playing football to "loosen the muscles."
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