A MAN who kicked a police officer down a hill after launching a tirade of abuse at him has appeared at court.

David Alan Zachert told a police officer in Crook that he would be "in a world of pain" after he spotted him talking to his partner.

The 35-year-old then kicked out at the officer and threatened both him and his family, Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court heard.

John Garside, prosecuting, said: "At around 10.40pm on March 8 police attended an incident near Billy Row, in Crook. An officer spoke to the defendant's partner who ended up being arrested.

"Mr Zachert told the police officer 'I don't f*****g like you, you are going to be in a world of pain' before he started to hurt himself.

"The police officer tried to arrest him and he pulled away, causing them both to fall to the ground.

"The defendant then turned and kicked him down a hill using his leg and called him a f*****g d**k head.

"He said 'for the rest of my life I'm going to punch your f*****g head in. I'm coming for you and I'm coming for your entire family. I will remember your face and I'm going to punch it all over'.

"Leg restraints had to be used to restrain him because he was continuously kicking out at officers."

The court heard that Zachert apologised during a police interview and said the officer did not deserve to be assaulted, adding that he was very sorry for his actions and he was an idiot.

The officer said in a statement: "His behaviour was extremely aggressive towards myself and it was entirely unprovoked. He took a disliking towards me that was completely uncalled for.

"I perceived the threats to be very serious, not just towards me but towards my family. I have to go home and speak to my partner about it which then causes her to worry."

Ben Pegman, mitigating, said: "In the cold light of day when he is not in drink he realises what he has done. He had been out drinking in the area with his partner and had consumed more alcohol than he normally would.

"He seen the officer talking to his partner and got the wrong end of the stick, thinking that they were targeting her unnecessarily. He is very sorry and completely ashamed of his behaviour."

Zachert, of Park Terrace, Stanley, Crook, pleaded guilty to common assault of an emergency worker and using threatening and abusive words with intent to cause fear of violence on Sunday, March 8.

District Judge Tim Capstick said Zachert's behaviour was "wholly unacceptable" and he was "old enough to know better".

He was given a six month community order with a curfew for six weeks. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the police officer.