A MAN was allowed to go on his way by police following a midnight call-out then inexplicably decided to verbally abuse the officers — and is now in prison.

George Govan, 44, launched into a series of foul-mouthed tirades just moments after the uniformed PCs had told him that he was free to leave.

Govan, 44, was at the BP filling station shop on Greenock's Regent Street on June 11 when staff there called for police assistance.

Prosecutor Lindy Scaife told the sheriff court: "It was in relation to a male allegedly throwing items within the store.

"Officers arrived to find the accused standing on the public footpath outside the premises.

"After speaking with staff the police allowed the accused to go on his way.

"He then began shouting and swearing and stated, 'You don't know what am capable of'."

Fiscal depute Ms Scaife added: "The officers tried to calm him down, however, he continued shouting abuse at them and said, 'I'll punch yer lights oot'.

"He was cautioned and charged and made no reply."

Addressing Sheriff Joseph Hughes, defence lawyer David Tod said: "He has no address, which ties your lordship's hands.

"I think any non-custodial sentence would be setting him up to fail."

Govan was jailed last year after the court heard that he had no recollection of viciously verbally abusing police at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

He had been heavily intoxicated on drugs at the time of that incident.

Sheriff Hughes told him: "I take into account your record and the fact that you have pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

"There is a presumption against short sentences but with the facts narrated to me I consider there is no alternative."

Govan was handed 40 days in jail.