A bungling burglar had to be rescued by police after he was caught by a security device at a petrol station and was left dangling from the ceiling by his leg.

Paul Davies, 43, has been jailed for six months after he was caught red-handed when he broke into a petrol station in Basildon.

He used a hammer to smash a window to enter the Asda petrol station shop at Eastgate at about 4.30am on Saturday October 10, but he was foiled when he activated a concealed security barrier which lifted up as he climbed over the shop’s counter.

Davies was left dangling with his left leg trapped between the screen and the ceiling.

He used his mobile phone to dial 999 and an operator at Essex Police HQ heard him shouting “Basildon, near petrol garage, Help me,” before his phone cut out.

Several members of the public also called police when they heard a man screaming for help from inside the building.

Police, fire crews and paramedics were involved in rescuing Davies. Asda staff were also called to the scene after the station alarm went off.

Davies was taken to Basildon Hospital and treated for leg injuries before being arrested and detained at Basildon police station where he was charged on Sunday evening.

He admitted a charge of burglary with intent to steal when he appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Monday October 12.

Davies, of Thistledown, Basildon, was also ordered to pay £60 compensation and a £180 court charge when he is released from prison.