Firefighters had to free a man from a pair of handcuffs after a prank went wrong.
Police officers brought a man to Hebburn fire station in the early hours of today after finding him in a distressed state in Gateshead.
It is believed a friend had put the handcuffs on his friend as a joke, but the lock was broken and they could not be taken off.
At the station, officers had to use electric cutting equipment to remove the metal cuffs to free the man, a 30-year-old from the Hebburn area.
Crew manager Trevor Smith said: "It looks like a friend of his put the handcuffs on him thinking it was a bit of a laugh so it's a prank gone wrong.
"But the lock was broken so he was brought in by two police officers and we had to use an electric diamond cutter to get them off.
"It was quite a delicate operation as you can imagine because the cuffs were quite tight on the man's wrists."
The man was brought into the station shortly after midnight, with the cuffs removed by 1am.