A GREENOCK man tried to rip a policeman's protective spray from his body armour as he attacked him.

Andrew Boyd tried to wrench the constable's incapacitant PAVA spray from him and repeatedly kicked and attempted to bite and headbutt him.

The officer and a colleague — who had both gone to his aid — were forced to call for back-up as the incident 'escalated', the town's sheriff court was told.

Boyd, 37, was in his bed in the middle of the afternoon after taking an overdose of prescription pills due to a problem with his benefits money.

Prosecutor Lindy Scaife said: "The accused grabbed hold of one officer's PAVA spray attached to his body armour and tried to unclip it and twist it off its holster.

"As the officer tried to break the accused's grip, the accused repeatedly tried to bite his hand and then attempted to headbutt the officer, who was being pulled down towards the accused.

"The accused's girlfriend jumped onto the bed and tried to pull the accused's head away from the PC as the accused continued to attempt to bite him.

"He was not cautioned and charged due to his aggressive and volatile behaviour."

Boyd's lawyer Aidan Gallagher said: "There have been genuine concerns and difficulties regarding his mental health since he was advised that his mother was terminally ill.

"Since he was remanded in custody on June 21, his mother has since passed away."

Boyd, of Wren Road, had also been charged with assaulting the other officer to injury by kneeing him on the head, as well as shouting and swearing threats of violence, but his not guilty pleas to these allegations were accepted by the Crown.

Mr Gallagher added: "The police attended was because he's called the Department of Work and Pensions about his lack of benefits and this led to an overdose of medication.

"Officers were there for a welfare check on him."

Sheriff Derek Hamilton sentenced Boyd to nine months imprisonment.

The sheriff told him: "Assaults on police cannot be tolerated and this is a serious matter.

"You kicked and attempted to bite and headbutt, and it is concerning also that you tried to seize the officer's PAVA spray.

"You have a record for violence and weapons. Prison is the only appropriate sentence."