A MAN who assaulted two police officers and subjected one to a barrage of racially aggravated abuse has been jailed.

Lewis Berkley, of Witton Crescent, Darlington, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of causing harassment, alarm and distress, which was racially aggravated.

He appeared at York Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday where he was sentenced.

The court heard the offences took place at St Nicholas Fields, York, on 28 June.

Berkley, 22, was sentenced to 48 weeks imprisonment on Tuesday. He was also ordered to pay a £156 victim surcharge.

Read more: Assaults on County Durham and Teesside police surge in pandemic

Figures published by the Home Office show there were 1,380 assaults against officers in the region between April 2020 and March 2021.

The stark figure represents a 28 per cent increase from 1,077 in 2019/20 and includes 252 assaults which resulted in an injury - a six per cent increase from 238 in 2019/20.

In County Durham, 583 assaults on officers were recorded - a 15 per cent increase from 505 the previous year.

And in Cleveland, there were 592 assaults on police officers in the same time period.

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