A MAN caught with a knife outside a town centre pub ended up spitting, racially abusing and threatening to kill police.

Preston Crown Court heard that officers were called to Lord Street West, Blackburn, on October 23 following reports Brian Selby was hitting his head against a wall.

Prosecuting, David Toal said officers found Selby, who was bleeding from the head, sat on the floor outside the Bees Knees surrounded by sugar packets.

Selby, 44, said he had fallen over and banged his head on the floor, but because of a report that he might be carrying a knife officers handcuffed him while he was searched.

Mr Toal said Selby admitted having a steak knife with a four-inch blade but at that point his behaviour changed and he became agitated and aggressive.

Mr Toal said: “He was bringing phlegm up in his throat and he was making to spit at the police officers.”

It had been intended that Selby would be taken to hospital an ambulance but because of his behaviour he was arrested and transported to Royal Blackburn Hospital in the back of a police van.

Selby told officers he “would sort them out” and spat all over the cage in the back of the van. It was at that point he had a spithood placed over his head.

Mr Toal said Selby continued to be verbally abusive to officers when he arrived at the hospital and said: “I know where you live. I’ll send people.”

At one point he also racially abused one of the officers who was waiting with him.

Selby then told officers he was using the knife to strip wallpaper at home and had walked into town forgetting it was in his pocket.

He then made threats that he would go back into town with three barrels of petrol and “cause destruction”.

Selby then kicked out at an officer and only failed to connect because he took evasive action, Mr Toal said.

After spitting inside the protective hood, Selby continued to make threats while being seen by medics.

Mr Toal said that Selby’s behaviour was such that when he arrived at Greenbank Police Station he was stripped and placed in a suicide suit.

That was because he said he had earlier taken heroin and made threats to self-harm.

Mr Toal said: “During police interview he told officers he had the knife on him for protection. He couldn’t remember what had happened in the incident. He said he had taken diazepam. He said he had been stabbed in May and he had a lot on his mind.”

Selby, who has 21 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, using threatening words or behaviour, possessing a bladed article and racially aggravated harassment.

Defending, Roger Brown said his client had been battling a drug addiction for some time. He said his client was sorry for what he had done.

He said: “I concede the court have an obligation to do two things. Firstly to keep people with weapons off the streets and to secondly protect those who are simply doing their duty of keeping the public safe. On this occasion Mr Selby was behaving in a completely unacceptable way.”

Having heard Selby had already spent time in custody while awaiting sentence, Judge James Medland QC gave him a four-month sentence, but suspended it for two years. Selby, of St Margaret's Way, Blackburn, was given a two-and-a-half month curfew, with 30 rehabilitation days and a 12-month drug requirement.