A DRUNK man who carjacked two drivers and punched a police officer in the face because he thought he was being chased by zombies has avoided prison.

Ryan Pearce, 28, of Petre Wood Crescent, Langho, pleaded guilty to common assault, aggravated vehicle taking, driving whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit and assaulting a police officer.

Pearce was sentenced at Preston Magistrates Court to a 12-month community order which requires him to complete 700 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for 28 months and ordered to pay compensation of £500, a victim surcharge of £85 and costs of £85.

The court heard how on Friday September 14 Pearce approached a man in his car in the short stay car park of Preston station.

Pearce got into the car and demanded that the stranger drive him home.

The victim refused and, fearing for his safety, got out of the car. Pearce followed and then punched him in the face.

The defendant then attempted to get into a second car, leaving the female driver terrified.

Pearce got in the driving seat and attempted to drive away, but ended up repeatedly crashing the vehicle into a wall.

When a British Transport Police officer turned up, just as Pearce was attempting to take another car, he punched the officer twice in the face.

In police interview Pearce claimed that he remembered nothing of the incident adding that although he had consumed alcohol that evening, he believed his drink had been spiked.

He apologised profusely for his actions and requested that he be able to apologise to his victims in person.

Investigating officer PC Richard Melling said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for Pearce’s victims who were approached out of the blue by a drunken stranger attempting to get into their cars with them.

"The violent assault that subsequently occurred shows just how dangerous and volatile Pearce was that night.

“Despite his apologies, his victims are still shaken by what happened. The consequences of his actions that night are far reaching, both for his victims and himself.”