A Doncaster man went on a £12,000 wrecking spree in prison after the death of his pet hamster.
Kyle Blackie, aged 23, from Edlington, was one of four inmates who took part in a two-hour protest at HMP Stocken, Rutland, in which furniture and light fittings were smashed.
Prosecutor Gordon Aspden told Leicester Crown Court that Blackie claimed 'distress' at the death of his pet was one reason he gave for taking part in the disorder.
Blackie, who pleaded guilty to affray and criminal damage, was serving a five-year sentence for a series of burglaries in Nottinghamshire, Humberside and North Yorkshire at the time.
But the landscape gardener, who was released in April this year, was spared another stint behind bars when he was sentenced to 18 months in custody, suspended for two years, after the court heard he had turned his life around.
The other three involved in the wrecking spree all received additional custodial sentences.
Craig Mercer, 26 and Shane Green, 25, were jailed for 22 months each, while Anthony Bailey, 32, received a 20-month jail term.
Sentencing Blackie, Judge Nicolas Dean QC, said: "Disorder in prisons is a serious and ongoing problem and has to be discouraged by the use of deterrent sentences.
"You have turned your life around since April in a way that might be considered quite remarkable."
He added returning Blackie to custody - where he would associate with criminals - would be 'utterly counter productive'.
"By your behaviour since April, you have shown that you deserve a chance. That is what it is: a chance and opportunity for you", the judge said.