A BARROW man who wielded a knife then spat blood and phlegm into the face of a police officer and laughed was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Judge John Altham said ‘proper punishment’ could ‘only be achieved by an immediate custodial sentence’.

Preston Crown Court heard how 57-year-old John White, now of Near Field Walk, Barrow, had been drinking with three other friends at his home on Longway on the evening of April 24.

By about 7pm, he was ‘extremely intoxicated’.

Prosecutor Charles Brown said White went into his flat and came out armed with two kitchen knives.

Despite there being ‘no ill feeling or quarrel prior to this’, Mr Brown said the defendant advanced upon one of his drinking companions and placed the weapons ‘towards his throat’. His companion then went inside and shut his door.

White then went to the man’s pet dog, which was still outside, and ‘put the knives against it’.

The dog was rescued by another man, who was followed by the defendant back to his garden. Mr Brown said the man was ‘extremely concerned for his and his friends’ safety’.

“He was so frightened that he picked up a piece of wood from his garden and, as the defendant went to enter his garden, he hit him over the head with it,” said Mr Brown.

After recovering consciousness and getting into an ambulance, White spat twice.

He was restrained but balled phlegm and blood up in his mouth and spat it into the face of a police constable and laughed.

A spit hood was put over White and he was taken to Furness General Hospital.

Mitigating, David Traynor said White had no recollection of his actions due to his intoxication - which was described as ‘the only explanation’ for his behaviour.

“One conviction in 1993 for an entirely dissimilar and minor matter,” he said. “The real John White is a hard-working and law-abiding man. He has always been in employment excepting times of ill health.”

Mr Traynor said White had since decided to give up alcohol.