THE body representing rank-and-file police officers has condemned as “disgusting” a suspended jail term for a 28-year-old man accused of spitting on the mouth of a PC and biting a policewoman’s arm.

North Wales police federation said the 20 weeks suspended sentence imposed by magistrates at Llandudno “embarrasses” Home Secretary Priti Patel after her call to get tough with those who assault officers.

A federation spokesman suggested magistrates were out of touch with the reality of what emergency workers faced.

Simon Newport, chairman of the local federation, said :”Courts are failing to protect officers. The sentence imposed is disgusting. It sends out the wrong message.”

He added :”They don’t see them at their worst. They see them days later when the intoxication has worn off.”

Jamie Owen, unemployed, of North Penrallt, Caernarfon, pleaded guilty to assaulting two emergency workers at the town, disorderly behaviour and criminal damage to a police vehicle.

Prosecutor Diane Williams said Owen had “numerous” previous convictions for disorder and violence. She said he had threatened to pull a gun on an officer outside Caernarfon police station, tried to punch him, spat at first on the policeman’s uniform then spat again – landing on the officer’s lower lip. The PC had to attend Ysbyty Gwynedd at Bangor because of the health risk.

When arrested, Owen had refused to get in a police vehicle and bit the policewoman’s arm, causing a mark.

The prosecutor said the first PC had just returned to Caernarfon police station when he saw Owen “under the influence” of something, cut and making no sense when he spoke.

Mrs Williams said Owen became irate and uncooperative and after spitting on the officer he ran off. Other officers arrived but he’d bitten the policewoman and kicked out at the police vehicle.

Luckily the WPC’s skin wasn’t broken.

Defence solicitor Andrew Hutchinson said Owen’s last memory was drinking at a friend’s house. He was sorry for his actions.

Court chairwoman Grainne McDonagh said there was “strong personal mitigation and we feel there’s a realistic chance of rehabilitation.” Owen must do 100 hours unpaid work, attend 35 “thinking skills” sessions, pay £150 compensation to each officer, and £207 costs.