A MAN has been given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years for wreaking havoc at a Cumbrian hospital.

David Lewis Aitken, 30, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday for two counts of assaulting a police officer and one of criminal damage.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, described Aitken's behaviour as "volatile, erratic and aggressive".

"It was prolonged and was an incident that was quite testing to view. It went on for an hour and 20 minutes at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven in the early hours of April 30.

"He had been admitted to the hospital and he himself says he has very little recollection of the events."

At about 1.40am Aitken, of Melbreak Avenue in Cockermouth, was threatening to take his own life to staff at the hospital and appeared to be under the influence of something.

About 20 minutes later, PC Smith went to check on Aitken and witnessed him hitting his head against the frame of the bed, which caused a 1.5cm cut to the side of his head.

Aitken told PC Smith he didn't know where he was and what was going on.

Over the next few minutes the 30-year-old began to drift in and out of consciousness due to the blow to the head, becoming increasingly frustrated as he awoke.

"He was flailing his arms around and kicking out, this caused blood to be splattered across the room," outlined Mr Rogerson.

"The room had to be deep cleaned."

As he became increasingly frustrated and confused, Aitken threatened to stab officers.

"You want to see some resistance? I'll show you some resistance," he told police.

Shortly after 4am Aitken bit PC Martin, which required vaccinations and antibiotics.

Officers deployed Tasers on three occasions but this made little difference.

Aitken also damaged a diagnostic machine and soap dispenser at the hospital and assaulted PC Smith.

The court heard how Aitken showed genuine remorse in interviews with police and offered to pay for the cost of the damage caused.

Aitken has only one previous conviction, which was for drink driving last year.

Marion Weir, defending, said: "He has been with Unity for a couple of months and has secured employment at a local pub."

The court was told about Aitken's happy childhood, which turned into a period of trauma and his experiences in his early years have affected him ever since.

"This was disgraceful behaviour on your part," Recorder Ciaran Temkin told the defendant.

He said the events would be an "extremely upsetting memory" for the police officers involved.

Recorder Temkin described Aitken as "intelligent individual" but as someone who has ongoing mental health problems.

Aitken's willingness to engage with Unity and his lack of previous convictions were the reasons behind the punishment of a suspended sentence, Recorder Temkin told the court.

He was also ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requiremnet days, 150 hours of unpaid work and £250 in compensation to PC Martin.