A MAN told police who were arresting him he had hepatitis C and would spit at them.

Blackburn magistrates heard Ian Gibbons was fitted with an anti-spit mask and then proceeded to shout vile homophobic and racist abuse at the officers.

Gibbons, 51, of Roebuck Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, racially aggravated threatening behaviour and threatening behaviour.

He also admitted a charge of criminal damage to a door and window belonging to Catherine Nicholson on a separate occasion.

The court heard the offences put Gibbons in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for four offences of assaulting an emergency worker. He was jailed for 12 weeks for the latest offences and a further 12 weeks was imposed for the breach of the suspended sentence.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said officers were called to an address in Snowdon Avenue where the defendant's partner lived.

They found Gibbons hiding in the loft and ordered him down.

Miss Allan said Gibbons became agitated after he was arrested and started banging his head against the police vehicle.

"An officer took hold of him to prevent him harming himself ad he made the threat to spit," said Miss Allan.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said after he made the threat to spit Gibbons had a spit mask placed over his face very quickly.

"He felt he was dealt with very heavy handedly and then started lashing out verbally at the officers," said Mr Taylor.

"He felt that was all he could do because a number of officers had hold of him at the time.

"He accepts that he made a number of highly inappropriate comments to the officers."