Aburglar who attacked a police officer with a crowbar was convicted when he accidentally admitted the offence during whispered courtroom confession.
Francis Overend, 47, had initially denied hitting the officer over the head, claiming he had been attempting to give himself up at the time.
But when he was cross examined about events at his trial, he accidentally let slip under his breath: “…and that’s when I hit him.”
Overend was out of prison on licence at the time of the burglary, having been jailed for life in 2002 for taking two police officers prisoner at gunpoint.
The court heard that on January 12 this year he and another man had been attempting to break into a house in Coventry when they were confronted by local officer, PC Alex Healy.
Overend had been attempted to prise open some patio doors using a crowbar but when challenged used the metal bar to hit PC Healy over the head.
Prosecuting Amy Jackson, prosecuting said: “This is about these two defendants going to a house in Coventry together with crowbars and attempting to commit a burglary.
“They are here because a neighbour called the police, and they were disturbed by those police officers arriving.
“Mr Thomas runs off, but Mr Overend decides he doesn’t want to run, and he attacks Pc Alex Healy with a crowbar.”
Overend was overpowered when other officers arrived to help their injured colleague.
The assault on PC Healy left him with a serious head wound which needed stitches.
When I saw the figure come round, because he was all in black I didn’t know he was a police officer until he was a couple of feet away, and I started walking with my hands up...and that’s when I hit himFrancis Overend's accidental confession
Giving evidence at Warwick Crown Court Overend initially denied wounding the officer.
But as he gave evidence he appeared to make the fatal confession under his breath.
Describing his version of events he said: “When I saw the figure come round, because he was all in black I didn’t know he was a police officer until he was a couple of feet away, and I started walking with my hands up.”
But then dropping his voice he added: “And that’s when I hit him.”
Overend denied having made the comments and the trial was adjourned so that lawyers could listen back to a recording of proceedings.
Ms Jackson played the tape back to the jury and despite denying having said the words, Overend was found guilty of wounding the officer with intent to evade arrest or to cause him grievous bodily harm.
Overend had previously admitted attempted burglary.
Warren Thomas, 42, who had also been at the scene was convicted of attempted burglary and going equipped for burglary.
He was also out on licence from a 17-year sentence for a series of bank armed robberies.
Both men were remanded in custody ahead of sentencing.