A DRUNKEN thug who punched a policewoman in the face with a “haymaker” before spitting in her colleague’s face has been jailed.

Joshua Leatherland attacked the officers after being thrown out of the Breeze nightclub and causing trouble in Newport city centre.

Rhodri Jones, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and causing issues after being ejected by door staff on Cambrian Road.”

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Leatherland, 22, had been fighting with a group of other men in the street and ran off when a police officer went to arrest him.

Mr Jones told Cardiff Crown Court: “PC Kelly Barclay gave chase, caught him and started to place him in handcuffs.

“The defendant pushed her up against a metal fence, punched her twice to the face and kicked her to the knee.

“When he was taken into custody, he continued to be aggressive and spat in the face of another officer, PC Michael Price, the saliva landing on his cheek and glasses.

“He was then placed in a spit hood.”

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PC Barclay was taken to hospital where she was treated for concussion, swelling and bruising to the left temple.

Mr Jones read out her victim personal statement which said: “I never expected a young lad half my age to hit my with what I can only describe as a haymaker to the side of the head.

“The anger and determination on his face terrified me.”

Leatherland, of Coniston Close, Newport, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and being drunk and disorderly on Saturday, July 17.

The defendant had six previous convictions for 17 offences, including assault occasioning actual bodily harm, battery, affray, criminal damage and public disorder.

Stuart John, mitigating, accepted that his client’s actions that night were “deplorable”.

His lawyer added: “The defendant does have a problem with alcohol.

“He is still a young man and a term of immediate custody will expose him to more mature offenders.”

Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke told Leatherland: “It was a brief and brutal assault on PC Barclay.

“You punched her as hard as you could.

“She screamed for help and her colleagues arrived.

“You wanted to get into a fight that night and you wanted to inflict violence on someone.

“She was an easy victim and it was a cowardly thing to do.

“You later spat in the face of PC Price, a disgusting thing to do.”

The defendant was jailed for six months.

Outside the court, Chief Inspector Robert Jenkins said: "It is not acceptable that any emergency worker is the victim of an assault when performing their job.

“Our officers are committed to keeping our communities safe and it is right that in doing so, when they subsequently become the victims of crime themselves, we prosecute offenders.

“We will not tolerate such acts against our officers, and colleagues, who continue to work tirelessly to help those in need.”