A GRANDAD-OF-11 who assaulted police officers who went to check on the safety of his wife after she said she had been assaulted by him has been spared jail.

Preston Crown Court heard Robert Thomas, 56, was extremely drunk when officers arrived at his house in Snaefell View, Barrow, at around 8.35pm on July 14 last year.

Thomas shouted and swore at officers, demanding they left his house as they did not have a warrant.

But when officers refused and asked to see his wife, his anger escalated.

One officer found the woman hiding in a bedroom claiming she had been assaulted by Thomas.

Thomas went into another bedroom but when an officer followed him he slammed the door in his face.

He continued to shout and swear at the three officers as he was told he was being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his wife.

As officers handcuffed him on the landing, he shouted he suffered from asthma and the cuffs were hurting his wrists.

He was taken down the stairs but kicked out and grabbed the legs of officers resulting in the group falling down the stairs in a mass.

Thomas banged his head as he fell and was given first aid but he continued to be abusive towards the officers as he was treated.

The court heard a number of friends and colleagues had given testimonials to his positive work contributions and personal characteristics when he is not in drink.

Since the incident he has adopted a teetotal lifestyle, the court heard.

Thomas’s wife later retracted the allegation of assault and the pair are working towards a reconciliation.

He pleaded guilty to assault on an emergency worker.

At the time of the incident, Thomas had only just completed a community order for a road rage incident involving three 16-year-old boys.

Recorder Alex Leach, sentencing, said: “It is clear you have difficulty controlling your temper and that is aggravated when you consume alcohol.

“You are held in high regard b those who have written references for you - including your partner, who after a period of separation believes you have changed for the better.

“You are an intelligent and highly skilled man and an impressive worker.

“What is clear is that the police in this case were only trying to do their job and these courts must pass sentences which deter others from behaving this way.

“It is vital that you put alcohol behind you. It is vital that you address your anger issues, because if you don’t you will be going to prison.”

He handed Thomas a 19 week sentence suspended for18 months with 30 days rehabilitation requirement and 250 hours of unpaid work.