A ROOFER threatened to bite off a policeman's nose and spit it back in his face after he was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Craig Kirkpatrick, of Uphill Drive, Sacriston, was outside the Lambton Arms in Chester-le-Street when he made the threat.

The 29-year-old appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe yesterday on a public order offence and a charge of resisting a police officer, in relation to the incident on Front Street, Chester-le-Street.

At an earlier trial, Kirkpatrick was acquitted of another charge of assaulting a police officer.

Suzanne Hanson, mitigating on Kirkpatrick's behalf, said he had been watching football in the pub when there was an altercation which the landlord split up.

She said: "He is named as the person responsible for the assault. His response is well, if they have named me what is my name.

"The officer initially becomes concerned because he has got a bottle in his hand and points this out to him.

"He then chats to the officers, ends up sitting on the wall outside the job centre having a chat about other things, they talk about football and all sorts, and he and his friend make no effort to move, then he is being told he is being arrested for assault, which is when he becomes verbally abusive and he is pepper sprayed."

A report from the Probation Service suggested the self-employed roofer and cladder became 'angry and emotional' after being pepper sprayed by the police.

Magistrates handed him a 12 month community order and ordered him to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £300 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.