A MAN who tried to gouge a police officer's eyes out, headbutt an assisting officer and punch another emergency worker while being challenged over burgling his ex’s home has been jailed.

Shaun Watkins viciously attacked the PC as he was confronted after kicking the door of an address in Peterlee last month.

According to Durham Police, the PC let Watkins finish in the toilet he claimed to be using before placing him under arrest, but seconds after emerging from the bathroom, the 32-year-old lunged at the PC, punching him multiple times in the face and trying to gouge his eyes out.

Read more: Jet2 flight to Newcastle diverts to Portugal because of 'disruptive passenger' 

The PC managed to free himself using his pepper spray and along with another colleague, restrained Watkins.

As he was being restrained, the violent thug also headbutted the assisting officer.

Watkins, of Ninth Street, Horden, gave a ‘no comment’ interview but later pleaded guilty to three charges: assault causing actual bodily harm, assault by beating and criminal damage.

The Northern Echo: Shaun Watkins. Picture: DURHAM POLICE.Shaun Watkins. Picture: DURHAM POLICE.

He appeared at Durham Crown Court on May 6 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Following the confirmation of Watkins’ jail term, T/Detective Inspector Darren Wild, of Peterlee CID, said: “Watkins is a particularly nasty criminal who uses any means possible to try to escape justice.

“Thankfully the officer in this case used his training to contain Watkins despite being temporarily blinded.

“No officer should ever be attacked let alone in such a violent way and we are glad to see Watkins behind bars where he cannot harm anyone else for the foreseeable.”

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