A MAN who attacked two paramedics as they worked to save his life has been jailed.

The ambulance crew members had been transporting Mark Dowe to Sunderland Royal Hospital after he cut his wrists in February when he started throwing punches.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 24-year-old tried to headbutt the men and threw his urine sample inside the vehicle, meaning the ambulance had to be taken off the road until it could be sterilised.

Prosecutor Jacqueline Wilkinson told the court Dowe had struggled to remove the bandages the paramedics had applied to try and stop the bleeding.

She added: "Without warning he started punching the crew members.

"One of them fell to the floor. He continued to punch and the other had to intervene.

"He tried to headbutt them.

"Both had to try and restrain him."

The court heard one of the men was left with numbness to his face and a sore hip.

The other suffered a soft tissue injury to his thumb.

In a victim impact statement one of the paramedics said: "I should not have to be subjected to such behaviour while carrying out my role.

"It should not be that someone should attack me when I am trying to help them to the best of my ability."

Dowe, who was on a suspended sentence for violence at the time of the attack, admitted two common assault charges.

Mr Recorder Makepeace jailed Dowe, of Featherstone Street, Roker, Sunderland for a total of six months on Friday.

Alec Burns, defending, said Dowe lost his job as an apprentice joiner because of what he did that night and understands the seriousness of what he did.