A THUG with a lengthy criminal record has been jailed for biting a police officer in a Helensburgh street.

Alexander McBride, from Rhu, carried out the attack in James Street in the centre of the Burgh in the early hours of January 7.

The 21-year-old has previous convictions for threatening members of his family with a hammer, attacking police and staff members at Helensburgh’s Co-op supermarket, and, last year, for hurling a two-foot kerb stone through the kitchen window of a Helensburgh woman’s home.

McBride, of Lineside Walk, Rhu, appeared for sentencing at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of assaulting a police officer.

He had been given a further seven days to come to court after claiming to be ill when his case called on May 25.

Sarah Healing, prosecuting, told Friday’s hearing: “Police on uniformed mobile patrol observed the accused and believed he was another individual for whom there was an outstanding warrant.

“He was arrested in respect of matters unrelated to this incident but immediately began to struggle with the officers, and thereafter fell to the ground.

“Police were able to apply one of two handcuffs, but he continued to struggle while on the ground as police attempted to bring him under control.

“As they attempted to apply a second handcuff the accused bit one of the constables on the right forearm, causing minor bruising.

“The officer did not require medical treatment.”

The officers took McBride to Clydebank police office but he was still so drunk that they decided they couldn’t caution and charge him.

Scott Adair, defending, said: “He fully accepts he was extremely intoxicated when police spoke to him. He accepts their evidence, albeit that he can’t remember biting the officer.

“The whole incident was over and done with in 30 seconds, if it was that.”

McBride was spared prison in November after he admitted recklessly throwing a kerb stone through the kitchen window of a property in the town’s Williamson Drive on September 3 last year.

Mr Adair told Sheriff Simon Pender that his client was already on a community payback order, with unpaid work hours, for that offence, but that he worked full-time to support his partner and child.

He suggested deferring sentence on the assault matter until a review of the payback order, due to take place in early July – only for Sheriff Simon Pender to state he was "minded to deal with this today".

Mr Adair then asked the sheriff to consider a new order requiring McBride to do further unpaid work in the community.

But the unimpressed sheriff instead opted to impose a six-month prison sentence.

He told McBride: “It is clear you are not progressing well on your current order. You have also breached a previous order, and you have a bad record.

“Police, in the course of their duties, deserve all the protection the courts can give them.”