A lovesick German teenager outdid Shakespeare’s Romeo by scaling a 4m (13ft) prison wall and climbing up to his ex-girlfriend’s barred window.
But the 18-year-old refused to come down and the fire brigade in northern Germany used a ladder to rescue him.
German media report that the ex-girlfriend, also 18, had broken up with him shortly before his jail break-in.
He was half-naked, apparently to avoid snagging clothes on the barbed wire. He could face prosecution for trespass.
A spokesperson for the youth prison in Vechta in Lower Saxony said the spurned young man was desperate to persuade his ex to change her mind. He managed to reach her first-floor window.
He took advantage of a street lamp to get over the wall – so now the authorities have wrapped the lamppost in barbed wire, German broadcaster NDR says.
It is not clear why the young man did not book a prison visit instead of going on his climbing adventure last week.
No more details were given about him or the young offender he was trying to see and it is unknown if his bid to save the relationship was a success.
Romeo, Shakespeare’s passionate romantic hero, scales a garden wall in Romeo and Juliet. Climbing up to her balcony is not however in the stage directions.