A HAMPSHIRE man has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after he bit the thumb of a police officer who tried to arrest him.

Steven Bird bit so hard on the right thumb of PC Nick Beech that his teeth pierced the officer’s latex glove and skin.

The 23-year-old later told officers that he wanted to “rip off his thumb and feed it back to him”.

Bird was in the dock for sentence, having previously admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Rob Welling, prosecuting, said officers went to Bird’s house at 1.15pm on January 25 this year as part of an investigation into the burglary of a garage.

Mr Welling said Bird was “uncooperative and aggressive” towards officers, and wasted time by being slow to choose and put on clothes.

He said: “PC Beech decided enough was enough, and he went to arrest the defendant. The defendant began to fight against the officers and attempted to head butt PC Beech.

“He was taken down on to a sofa with the help of officers. The defendant then bit on to the right thumb of PC Beech.”

As Bird was taken away, he said to PC Beech: “I will kill your mother and your family and stab them.”

Mr Welling said that in interview, Bird told officers he bit PC Beech to get the officers off him.

The court heard Bird has 13 convictions for 19 offences, including two previous assaults on police officers.

Adrienne Knight, defending, said Bird, of Copland Close, Basingstoke, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and had reacted badly to being woken up by officers in his home.

Jailing Bird for 30 months, Judge Keith Cutler called the attack “appalling”. He said: “To add insult to injury, all the words that you said at the time were very, very unpleasant.

“You must understand that when police officers are carrying out their duties they demand, and deserve, the protection of the courts, and if someone attacks a police officer in this way, a custodial sentence is almost inevitable.”