A man from Northamptonshire went on the run after somehow escaping a prison and stealing a car.
Ross Gallagher, aged 32, of Bonnington Walk, Corby, was in HMP Sudbury after being jailed for, among other crimes, causing a woman a serious eye injury by attacking a car she was in.
Prison officers believed he was still there on October 18, looking in on his cell regularly during that evening.
But Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday that, to their horror, the next morning the officers made an embarrassing discovery.
Prosecutor Stella Moses said: "At 8am the prison was contacted by the police who had recieved information that he was not in prison any longer.
"They looked and found a dummy placed in his bed instead."
Police shortly after received reports of a stolen car and deployed to the area and spotted the vehicle, which turned out to be driven be Gallagher.
Officers got ahead of Gallagher's vehicle and deployed a stinger, causing him to drive over the spikes.
But the escapee continued to drive off at increased speed despite two deflated tyres Taking a roundabout the wrong way, he soon crashed the car.
A police dog team and helicopter conducted a search and soon spotted Gallagher crouched on a garden shed.
He was arrested after the shed roof collapsed and he was taken into custody.
Despite a police interview, he has refused to reveal how he escaped jail.
His case has been sent to Leicester Crown Court on Novemeber 19.