A MAN who punched a police officer in the face said he lost his temper in frustration at not being listened to.

James Ferguson, 19, was arrested after police were called to reports of a large scale disturbance at a Darlington nightclub on Christmas Eve.

Tahira Bourchier, prosecuting, said he had been ejected by door staff as part of a group apparently involved in a fight.

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She said he swore at police officers and as one tried to arrest him for being drunk and disorderly, punched him in the face in a bid to escape.

Stephen Andrews, mitigating, said Ferguson was celebrating his sister’s birthday when he was assaulted in the club.

“He tried to make it clear to police that he was the victim of an assault but they were only interested in getting everyone away so that the disturbance didn’t break out again."

“He is sensible enough to know that he should have gone to the police station the next day to make a complaint instead.”

He described the subsequent assault on the police officer as foolish and regrettable.

Ferguson, of Acacia Street, Darlington, who admitted being drunk and disorderly and assulting a police officer was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 compensation together with £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.