TWO policemen were hurt after being bitten by a drink driver they had arrested.

The constables had stopped William Jonathan Mclennon Dacosta at the Villa petrol station in, Leadgate Road, Consett on Friday, March 29.

Appearing at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court yesterday, the 31-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting an emergency worker, drink driving and two charges of possessing an offensive weapon.

John Garside, prosecuting, told the court how the officers had been on patrol when they noticed the Ford Fiesta and pulled it over.

Dacosta provided a positive roadside breath test and was arrested and searched.

The officers found two knuckle dusters - one in his tracksuit bottoms and one on a keyring.

Mr Garside said Dacosta then became aggressive and struggled with the officers.

Despite wearing handcuffs, he managed to repeatedly kick one of the officers in the chest and bit his thumb and poked his eye.

While trying to restrain Dacosta, the second officer was also assaulted as the father-of-one spat in his face and bit his thumb too.

Both officers had small cuts to their thumbs as a result of the incident.

When Dacosta was taken to the station, he provided a breath test and was found to have 41mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the legal limit is 35mg.

A report given by the probation service said Dacosta had finished work at 11am that day and had several pints before agreeing to take a friend to the garage to use the cash machine.

The probation service told the court how Dacosta had complied with the officers' instructions but became agitated when he was refused a request to watch them put his belongings into a bag.

Dacosta said he accepted "lashing out" but could not remember specifically biting the officers and admitted he had a "short fuse".

He had been given anti-depressants following the break-down of his relationship last year but had not been taking them.

The probation service also commented on Dacosta's troubled childhood as his father died when he was 12 - a year after he was taken into care - and he had got into the wrong crowd with drink and drugs.

Dacosta wept as the probation service delivered the report.

The court was also told of Dacosta's good work ethic as a pointer.

Adam Scott, mitigating, said the incident had got "out of hand" and his client accepted he has anger issues.

Magistrate, William Stoddart, gave Dacosta a 12-month community order with ten rehabilitation requirement days and 80 hours' unpaid work.

He also ordered him to pay £100 in compensation to each officer as well as £85 in costs and a victim surcharge. Dacosta was banned from driving for a year.