A 40-YEAR-old man who spat at a paramedic in Hereford has apologised for his actions.

Robert Butler of Wheat Common Lane, Ludlow used threatening behaviour towards paramedic Michael Duggan on November 17 at around 10pm.

At Herefordshire Magistrates Court he pleaded guilty to assault by beating of an emergency worker and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Butler said: "Firstly I want to apologise to Michael Duggan and the NHS staff at Hereford County Hospital."

Kerry Lovegrove, prosecuting, said Mr Duggan attended an incident on Union Street in Hereford, which had been resolved by the time he got there.

She said: "As he was about to drive away he was approached by the defendant who asked what he was doing. Mr Duggan explained."

She said Butler then shouted and swore at Mr Duggan and opened the car door.

Mr Duggan managed to get out of the vehicle and Butler then started to punch and kick the paramedic car.

Butler then told Mr Duggan he was going to knock him out and Mr Duggan had to put his arm out to stop him coming closer.

Ms Lovegrove said: "The defendant was shouting and swearing at him and was aggressive. He believed he was going to be attacked.

"Then he started to spit. On one occasion he spat directly at him but fortunately it missed."

Butler left the scene and he was arrested.

During his police interview he said he was sorry and that he was employed and getting his life back on track.

Ms Lovegrove said: "He does know when he drinks he becomes violent and aggressive. He wouldn't have acted in that way if he had not been drunk."

Marilena Divitantonio, mitigating, said: "He is extremely remorseful for what happened. There is no particular explanation other than the fact he was intoxicated."

She said there was a time when Butler was before the courts regularly as he was homeless and alcohol dependent. But he has since found work and turned things around.

Ms Divitantonio said he was charged under the new emergency services act with the emphasis on a starting point of custody.

Butler had been under post sentence supervision from the probation service which was due to end on December 14.

Magistrates gave him a 12 month community order and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He was fined £60 and ordered to pay £50 compensation, costs of £185 and a victim surcharge of £85.