A criminal who is 7ft 2in tall has escaped jail because he is too big for prison beds.
The 23-year-old giant, Jude Medcalf, was also too large for prison uniforms, a judge decided.
Medcalf, who admitted a series of crimes, was ordered to be released as he suffers from a little-known growth disorder, Klinefelter syndrome.
He terrified an innocent woman by firing a BB gun at her through a window, Exeter Crown Court in Devon was told. He then went on to steal Christmas presents and tea money from an NHS office.
Medcalf was freed from jail after Recorder Mr Adam Vaitilingam QC was told he had already spent 75 days in custody. He had faced problems throughout his time in custody because there were no beds or uniforms to fit him.
He was given a six-month curfew and 12-month community order after being held in jail on remand.
The court was told Medcalf’s chromosomal disorder, which also leaves him with adolescent emotions, was diagnosed last year.
Today a leading expert said judges must take the condition into account when sentencing offenders.
Sue Cook, national coordinator at the Klinefelter Syndrome Association, said: “Sufferers develop a very aggressive side and a few do get into trouble with the law.
“If someone has the condition, this should definitely be taken into account when sentencing.”
Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, told the court that when Medcalf saw his girlfriend calling the police after he had attacked an acquaintance’s car in Torquay, he fired the BB gun at her, which cracked a window.
She did not know whether the gun was real and feared for her life, the court heard.
Medcalf, from Newton Abbot, admitted possession of an imitation firearm and a bladed article, criminal damage and burglary at an earlier hearing. He had been remanded in custody for sentencing.
William Parkhill, defending, said Medcalf had been unable to access the specialist medical and psychiatric treatment he needed since his “tragic” diagnosis.
He said: “He has spent 75 days in prison on remand and he is not somebody who copes well because of the physical aspects in terms of accommodation, bedding and clothing.
“He is also a target because he is big enough to be seen as someone who it is impressive to assault but immature enough that he cannot deal with it.
“He has been targeted twice and had a black eye the last time he came to court.”
The judge said he had been tempted to pass a lengthy jail sentence , but he accepted the defendant “had a lot of difficulty in life. His condition had caused people to pick on him”, he added.
Mrs Cook, from Halstead, Essex, said: “Klinefelter Syndrome is not rare. It is very common. It affects one in 600 live births.
“Men with the condition often grow to 6ft or 6ft 2in, but I only know of one other man with it who has grown to 7ft.
“Sufferers tend to have gender issues – am I a woman or am I a man? – because they have an extra chromosome, which is a woman’s chromosome.
“They also suffer from skeletal difficulties – problems with their bones.”
The disorder was first discovered in 1942 by Dr Harry Klinefelter at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.