A van driver was uncooperative with a police officer seeking to perform a roadside ‘swipe’ to test for the presence of drugs in his system, a court heard.

Javis Green was pulled over at the wheel of a Ford Transit vehicle due to the speed he was driving, at Mickleton, in Teesdale, County Durham, on August 18, last year.

Durham Crown Court heard that other officers were asked to attend as Green was refusing to engage with the constable conducting exchanges with the defendant.

Ian West, prosecuting, said Green initially claimed to have a medical reason why he could not assist with the roadside test, but he was told that it would be an offence to refuse to assist in the procedure, which checks for the presence of cannabis and cocaine.

The Northern Echo: Police patrol officer stopped van on evening but driver uncooperative with roadside test request

The defendant accused the officer of “persecuting” him, to which he told Green that he had never previously stopped him.

Green was asking what crime he had committed and was still refusing to take part in the roadside test, so he was brought from the van and efforts were made to place him handcuffs.

Mr West said the defendant swore at the officer and grabbed his hand to try to prevent him placing him in the handcuffs, forcibly nipping his fingers as both he and the officer went to the ground.

The injured officer was taken to hospital where an x-ray confirmed there was a fracture to a bone in the ring finger of his left hand, which required further medical treatment.

Giving his victim statement he said it was due to Green’s “aggressive and reckless behaviour” that the injury was sustained, adding that if he had co-operated and listened initially at the scene, the incident could have been dealt with at the roadside, without the need to have him taken into custody.

The 36-year-old defendant, of Dovedale Avenue, Sunnybrow, Willington, admitted assaulting an emergency worker, when the charge was put to him on the day he was due to stand trial, last week, accused of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Mr West said the defendant has only one previous conviction, for a drink driving offence in Lancashire, with a further assault on an emergency worker post-dating the latest offence.

Neil Jones, for Green, told Judge James Adkin: “I would urge you not to send him to prison as he would have acute mental difficulties coping with such a thing.”

Mr Jones said the defendant has been engaging with a psychosis team in the community, “co-operating fully”.

“There’s every reason to suppose that he is beginning to see his behaviour as others see it.

“He’s 36 and has been running his own business in the past.

“There’s this persecution complex against the police, which he now sees as being negative.

“It’s taken a while to see his conduct as others see it.”

Judge Adkin told Mr Jones he would not be sending the defendant to prison.

He told Green: “The officers were being perfectly reasonable with you and you were aggressive with them, causing harm to the officer.

“Since then, however, you have taken steps to address the mental health problems that, clearly, you have.

“It seems to me that to send you to prison now would be wrong in principle.”

Read more crime stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Driver abandoned flame-hit stolen quad bike in Darlington

Woman jailed for double stabbing in Spennymoor pub on New Year's Day

Chester-le-Street man arranged to meet 15-year-old female 'escort'

Get more from The Northern Echo for just £6 for 6 months for a Premium Plus annual subscription or £47 for an annual subscription (saving 40%). Click here.

Green, who already has a 150-hour unpaid work order for the offence post-dating the assault on the officer, was ordered to perform a further 75 hours’ work in the community.

He must also undergo 15 days of rehabilitation activity work with the Probation Service, as part of a one-year community order.

Judge Adkin said he did not want to “over-burden” the defendant, or, “set him up to fail”, but he warned him if he “falls off the path” and does not do the work hours or fails to comply with the rehabilitation activity programme, they would “meet again”.