Jubilant police chiefs in Northumberland heaved a huge sigh of relief today following the capture of fugitive killer Raoul Moat.
However, the scenes of jubilation were short lived.
In an embarrassing U turn, Northumbria police bosses were forced to admit they had got the wrong man.
At a news conference, Pippa Hartley, explained to waiting press "At 13.00 today a tip off from a member of the public, walking his dog, alerted us to the sighting of a man fitting the description of Raoul Moat. The witness describes seeing a tall, heavily built man, close to a tent and lighting a campfire, suggesting the fugitive had been living rough for some time. A team of armed officers swooped on the scene and a man believed to be Mr Moat was taken into police custody".
In a bizarre sequence of events, the arrested man was later released with all charges dropped.
Hartley explained "In a clear case of mistaken identity it appears that the tall, heavily built man that fitted Moat's description was in fact 70's boxing legend Joe Bugner. We wish to offer our deepest apologies to Mr Bugner for any distress and embarrassment caused to him and his family. Mr Bugner's fighting skills are well documented. But he is not, I repeat NOT a deranged psychopathic killer"
It has emerged that Bugner was in Gateshead to promote sales of his new health grill and his Extra Tasty Bugner Burger.
Following Mr Bugner's exit from the jungle in I'm A Celebrity it appears he has embraced the outdoor life and often spends time at campsites in the North East.
Bugner told us "I turned my back on fame and fortune after I'm A Celebrity. I live a quiet life now and keep my nose clean. I never expected this mate that's for sure".
In a final chilling warning to police he said menacingly "Bring it on. Let's see what you've got. Aussie Joe's ready to kick some Geordie arse".