A MAN who spat blood into the face of a police officer had a chunk of his nose bitten off in a fight outside a Harrogate pub, the town's magistrates were told yesterday.

The court heard that Jason Macleod would bear the scar for life despite early treatment from a top plastic surgeon who had been called in by Harrogate District Hospital at the time of the incident on May 7.

Macleod, 20, of King's Road, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour towards Mark Sadler. He also admitted assaulting Sergeant Thomas Collins and was sent to prison for three months.

Peter Scott, prosecuting, said police had been called to the Black Swan pub in Devonshire Place, where security camera operators had seen Macleod throwing punches at Mr Sadler.

As he was being taken to the police van, Macleod spat two mouthfuls of blood into the face of Sgt Collins but, when interviewed, said he could not remember the incident because he had been drinking.

Helen Camidge, mitigating, said Macleod accepted he had been part of a horrific incident which must have caused Sgt Collins severe trauma while he awaited the results of medical tests.

Mrs Camidge said Macleod had been told Mr Sadler had been causing trouble in the Black Swan and, when similar behaviour continued outside, he stepped in to protect a friend.

During the fight, he had a chunk of his nose bitten off, but no criminal action had been taken in what Mrs Camidge said was a clear case of grievous bodily harm.

She said: "He was badly injured and in intense pain, and he reacted badly when he felt police were not taking his injuries seriously."