A DRUNK man who lashed out at police officers and tried to spit at one of them was made to wear a specially designed head covering to prevent a repeat of his behaviour.

The spit-hood was forced on to the head of 24-year-old Steven John Cairns.

At Carlisle's Rickergate Magistrates' Court, he pleaded guilty to two offences: being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police officer.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly described how police intervened at 10.40pm when they saw that the defendant was involved in a disagreement with door staff at a Botchergate pub. The officers noticed how the defendant was unsteady on his feet.

"He was shouting and swearing at this point," said Mr Kelly. When the officers asked him to leave, to held them: "You'll have to lift me up because I'm not walking."

Mr Kelly contiued: "That's what the police had to do."

As they did this, the defendant began kicking and struggling. None of the police officers were injured but Cairns then spat towards one of them - but the spittle missed.

Mr Kelly added: "A spit hood was placed on his head to prevent a repeat of that behaviour. When the defendant was placed in the police van, he could be heard banging against the cage."

Sean Harkin, for Cairns, said the defendant's only previous brush with the law had been an on-the-spot fine for being drunk and disorderly which was imposed in 2018.

The lawyer told magistrates that the defendant, of Mount Pleasant Road, Currock, Carlisle, acted out of character

"He doesn't normally drink to excess," said the lawyer. "He wouldn't usually go out drinking like this." Mr Harkin said it was his client's drinking which had prompted his behaviour and he was himself disgusted with what he had done. Mr Harkin added: "When he woke up in the police cell the next morning he was genuinely remorseful.

"He apologises for his behaviour."

Magistrates noted just how unpleasant spitting at the police officer had been.

They imposed a community order which includes one requirement: an electronically monitored curfew for the next three months, starting at 7pm and lasting until 7am each morning. He must also £50 compensation to the officer he spat at, £85 costs, and a £90 victim surcharge.