A DRUNK man who spat in the face of a police officer in a “malicious, deliberate and disgusting” attack has been jailed.

Intoxicated Grigore Pop was found lying on a garden path when police attempted to arrest him.

He then turned and spat in the face of one officer, who was forced to use a neighbour’s sink to clear himself up.

The 26-year-old, who had previously been jailed for a serious sexual assault in his native Romania, was jailed for 12 weeks at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how police were called to Testwood Road, Southampton, on April 21, to reports of a man jumping over garden fences.

Prosecutor Rachel Standish told the court that when they arrived Pop was lying on the ground.

She said: “At one point he turned his head towards an officer and spat the contents of his mouth in the officer’s face.

“The spit hit him in the forehead and face.”

Ms Standish added that the incident made the officer feel “unclean” and he described Pop’s behaviour as “malicious, deliberate and disgusting”.

Pop later assaulted another officer, by kicking him in the groin.

Mitigating for Pop, Damian Hayes said his client was plagued by gambling and alcohol addictions.

He said that on the night in question, Pop had lost £1,000 to gambling and had taken to drink to numb the upset.

Mr Hayes said that Pop could not recall his behaviour towards the officers but he had expressed remorse and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Pop was jailed in 2015 in his home country of Romania for more than six years for a serious sexual assault.

Magistrates jailed Pop, of Testwood Road, Southampton, for 12 weeks.

Pop was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.