A DRUNKEN man who attacked a female police officer trying to arrest him believed his drink must have been spiked, a court heard.

The officer attended with a colleague a reported disturbance in Norwich Gardens, Willington, at 5pm on Saturday May 29.

Durham Crown Court heard they were checking damage caused to a house and a woman who had a cut and swollen nose after an ornament was thrown at her.

As they were doing so the alleged perpetrator, Colin Kenny, arrived back at the scene, having been drinking in the intervening period since the earlier incidents.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said Kenny initially appeared calm, but when the officer tried to arrest him, he swung around and punched her, before pushing her to the ground, where he landed at least five more blows.

She managed to take hold of him and deploy her taser to incapacitate Kenny, so the arrest could be completed.

Mr Sabiston said she suffered a swelling and cuts to her forehead, plus bumps to the back of the head.

She described it as being the worst assault suffered in her five years as an officer, causing her to be off work for two days, and the first time she has had to deploy her taser device.

In the earlier incident Kenny, who was in a caravan in Norwich Gardens, became agitated with female visitors, in a row about a phone.

He pushed the woman and her teenage daughter from the caravan and, after they locked themselves into a nearby house, he picked up an axe and smashed windows and a door.

Kenny leaned into a broken window and threw ornaments, one striking the householder on the nose, and another smashing the tv set, causing £650 damage.

Following his arrest he claimed he was trying to protect himself when he was detained and believes his drink must have been spiked that day to cause him to behave out of character.

Kenny, 61, of North View, Meadowfield, admitted assault, affray and criminal damage.

Penny Hall, in mitigation, said the initial spark arose as he believed he was being made fun of, but he could not fully explain his behaviour.

She said it was nearly 30 years since his last offending and he has been remanded in custody since the incident, although he has an offer of work in stables.

Jailing Kenny for two years, Judge James Adkin said attacks on police officers such as this merit only immediate prison sentences.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054