A HOMELESS man bit a police officer in Whitehaven as his compliance with a strict court order “fell apart” just weeks after it was issued.

Dean Stanley Donnelly, 31, was sentenced by a judge in March for an actual bodily assault.

Carlisle Crown Court heard a West Cumbria woman was so afraid of him during a row that she clambered out of a first floor window. She fell after he prised her fingers from the frame, suffering a fractured bone in her foot.

Donnelly received a year’s jail term suspended for two years. He was made subject to requirements aimed at curbing his offending and drug misuse, and a residence condition.

Initially he went to live at a Whitehaven guest house. But after being ejected for not complying with rules, he transferred to a Carlisle hostel but was “required to leave” those premises as well.

Prosecutor Tim Evans said there was initial court order progress by Donnelly before residency requirement compliance “fell apart” amid alcohol and drug difficulties.

There were failed drug tests, an updated probation report revealed. “He had come back positive for cocaine,” said Mr Evans. “Using crack cocaine and indeed using other controlled drugs to come down from the stimulant drugs such as crack cocaine, and really there were problems ongoing with both the taking of drugs and, it seems, also with alcohol.

“A search of his (Carlisle hostel) premises found alcohol and cannabis in his room. He was also picked up asleep outside McDonald’s in Carlisle under the influence of drink or drugs, or both.”

Donnelly further admitted assaulting an emergency worker after biting a police constable on the forearm over clothing when he turned violent during an incident at the guest house, on May 17.

Kim Whittlestone, for heavily-convicted Donnelly, revealed he developed a “crippling” drug addiction having been prescribed medication following a road accident before turning to illicit substances.

He had regularly struggled with accommodation when released from prison sentences. “He tells the court he does want to rid himself of his addiction. But of course his (criminal) record does not help him with that,” she said.

Jailing Donnelly for a year, Recorder Andrew Nuttall said of the bite: “There was no injury but nevertheless it was an unpleasant assault. These courts will protect police officers and other emergency workers from being attacked.

“They work for the public and they are entitled to protection.”