A DRUNK man who was tasered after trying to strangle a police officer has been sentenced for his "disgusting" behaviour.

Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard today (Tuesday, April 30) that 23-year-old Craig Durham had drunk 15 pints of lager and four Jagerbombs before he began arguing with his girlfriend outside the Turks Head pub in Bondgate in the early hours of April 13.

Prosecutor Lynne Dalton said Durham’s girlfriend’s shirt had been ripped open and a concerned doorman flagged down a passing officer who attempted to calm Durham down.

During the ensuing struggle, Durham twice grabbed the officer round the throat before he collapsed after being tasered.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer and using threatening behaviour when he appeared in court last week and in mitigation, Stephen Andrews said he had shown genuine remorse for his behaviour.

“It is clear that the offence revolves around the amount of alcohol he had consumed,” said Mr Andrews, adding: “He is going to take steps himself to make sure that a repeat of this incident doesn’t happen, and the steps that he is taking are to not drink like that again.”

Magistrates were told that unemployed Durham, of Outram Street, Darlington, owed the court £1,405 in unpaid fines from previous convictions and was serving a 12-month community order imposed in March.

After reading a probation report recommending an unpaid work sentence, presiding magistrate Margaret Cunningham told Durham that he had been behaving “like a schoolboy in a schoolyard.”

She added: “You only have a very small amount of money to spend and yet you are spending it on booze instead of reasonable activities.

“We take looking after our police officers very seriously; one day you might need a police officer’s help.

“Your behaviour has been disgusting, and you are lucky to have a girlfriend.”

She sentenced Durham to 40 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay £50 compensation for assaulting the officer, plus a £10 victim surcharge.

Before he left the court, Mrs Cunningham told Durham: “We don’t want to see you here again, but that is up to you.”