A FORMER solider who headbutted a police officer after he proclaimed “white lives matter” has been given an 18-month community order.

Richard William Nicholson, 32, was arrested by officers on June 8 after a disturbance on Prescott Road in Carlisle.

Prosecutor Diane Jackson told the court: “Police were called to a disturbance which happened at an address in Carlisle. The defendant was arrested in relation to what took place but no further action was taken.

"After being arrested PC Johns, the arresting officer, described the defendant as saying 'white lives matter', or words to that effect."

After the verbal exchange with the officer, he then assaulted him.

"He pushed him in the back and as he did that he turned to the left and headbutted him to the chest. Thankfully there were no injuries caused," continued Mrs Jackson.

He was then taken into police custody. The court heard how Nicholson, of Westfield Drive in Workington, was last in court in 2013.

Lauren Heasley, defending, said: "Mr Nicholson says he has massive regret about what he did by beating the police officer.

"He has two family members in the police and has huge respect for what they do, particularly during times of crisis like Covid-19.

"He said he is ashamed of his actions."

Describing his background Miss Heasley told the court: "He left the army in 2017 after two terms in Iraq and Afghanistan and he knew something wasn't right." He was later diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

"This is an awful incident which occurs while in drink, using a headbutt as an equivalent of a weapon," District Judge Gerald Chalk told Nicholson.

Nicholson was given a 18-month community order requiring him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £100 in compensation, £85 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge.