VIOLENCE flared at a New Year karaoke event at a town centre pub, a court heard yesterday.

David Storey, 38, was arrested after a confrontation with a doorman and a barman at the Kingfisher pub in Spennymoor, County Durham, on January 1.

During his ensuing arrest, Storey was abusive to an Asian police officer as he was being handcuffed.

Durham Crown Court heard that he also made a remark to a Scottish officer attending the incident at the Oxford Road premises.

Storey, a warehouseman, now of Polesworth, in Tamworth, Staffordshire, admitted using threatening words and behaviour, and causing racially-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

He later claimed he was trying to intervene in a disturbance between two women in the pub, and, when arrested, became agitated as the handcuffs were too tight.

Euan Duff, mitigating, said Storey suffered "a severe battering" and was the worst injured of all those involved in the incident.

Recorder Graham Reeds gave Storey a 160-hour community punishment order.

He told him: "Whether or not you felt you had a grievance is irrelevant.

"Such grievances should be dealt with in a different way to how you dealt with it."