A DRUNK man found sleeping in a hedge was arrested for abusive behaviour — after attending a party at Greenock Police Club.

Scott Howell dozed off in the shrubbery near the Thom Street social hall and shouted and swore at on-duty officers who woke him up.

He also repeatedly tried to bite one PC's fingers as his behaviour spiralled out of control to the extent that 'reinforcements' had to be called.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how a concerned member of the public phoned the police after spotting the boozed up 34-year-old 'lying intoxicated in the street'.

Lawyer Gerry Keenan said: "As far as the circumstances are concerned, this was an inauspicious end to a night out at the Greenock Police Club, of all places.

"He was attending an engagement party and can remember very little."

Prosecutor Lindy Scaife told the court: "Officers arrived shortly after midnight to see the accused sitting upright and sleeping in a hedge.

"They attempted to engage with him to establish his identity and a possible home address.

"He was immediately hostile, swearing at them and calling them derogatory names.

"His behaviour continued and he was restrained by one officer who put his left forearm on the right shoulder of the accused.

"The accused swore in stating, 'I'm going to bite you' and he repeatedly attempted to bite the officer's fingers.

"Reinforcements were called for and another two male officers arrived.

"The accused was taken to the station and he was not cautioned and charged due to his aggressive conduct."

Solicitor Mr Keenan said: "One suspects that he took far more drink than he should have.

"No doubt the police were acting in his best interests, but he had a rude awakening.

"However, he accepts that his behaviour was wholly unacceptable."

Mr Keenan added: "Although he has connections with this area in terms of family, he has no intention of returning to Scotland unless it is absolutely necessary."

Sheriff Joseph Hughes fined electrician Howell, of Middlesbrough, £800 and gave him 28 days to pay in full.