A MAN has appeared at court after beating a police officer with handcuffs and threatening to 'slice her face.'

Paul Handley was arrested for an unrelated incident on August 12 when he became violent to wards the officers.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating of an emergency worker on August 12.

Rachel Butt, prosecuting at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court, said: "Officers were called to North Road [Darlington] where the defendant was arrested for an offence in which he is not charged and placed into the back of a marked police van.

"He managed to get one of his hands free from the handcuffs and started waving his arms around, shouting at the officers 'I will slice your f*****g face off.'

"The officer took her pepper spray, opened the door and sprayed the defendant but it had no effect.

"He continued to wave his arms around and the loose handcuff connected with the side of the officer's head. This left her with a 4cm bruise."

Suzanne Hanson, mitigating, said her client was extremely intoxicated at the time and has no memory of the incident.

Handley, of School Avenue, Houghton-Le-Spring was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 towards court costs and £128 victim surcharge.