A BURGLAR with a history of attacking the police has been jailed for hitting an officer in the head with a bottle.

James Lee Cropper admitted a string of offences when he appeared in the dock at Burnley Crown Court, including burgling and ransacking Bacup Cricket Club and dangerously driving a stolen car, and was jailed for 30 months.

Judge Sara Dodd jailed Cropper's co-defendant Dean Tylor after he admitted a number of offences of his own, including burglary and fraud. He was jailed for 48 months.

The court was told how police had been called to the cricket club on July 6 and found the venue had been ransacked, doors had been smashed and a safe had been damaged.

Judge Dodd said Cropper, 35, who has 31 convictions for 63 offences, had been found wearing an improvised balaclava.

As PC Benjamin Dowling tried to arrest him, Cropper, of Hardman Avenue, Rawtenstall, hit him to the face with a bottle. Although PC Dowling was not seriously hurt by that attack, he did suffer a knee injury in the struggle to arrest Cropper which the court heard has impacted on his ability to do his job.

On July 24, Cropper used a bank card stolen in the burglary committed by Tylor and also drove a Vauxhall Corsa taken during the same incident on the same day. The court heard that as part of the incident at 9.30am, uninsured Cropper drove at 70mph on a 30mph zone and went through a no entry sign. Such was the dangerousness of his driving, officers decided to call off the pursuit.

Cropper pleaded guilty to burglary, assaulting an emergency worker, fraud by false representation, dangerous driving and driving without insurance. He was disqualified from driving for 25 months.

Referring to Tylor's offending, Judge Dodd said on June 26 he committed an opportunistic burglary at a property in Booth Road,Bacup, where he sneaked into a man's house while he was in the back garden and stole an Amazon Kindle. When he caught Tylor leaving the scene, the victim assumed he was lost and needed assistance and was reassured when the defendant told him he was looking for a friend's house. But on reviewing CCTV footage the victim realised he had been burgled.

Just a month later on July 27 Tylor, who has 53 convictions for 117 offences, was part of a joint enterprise burglary at a house in Atherton Street, Bacup. The court heard the victims were in bed asleep at 4.30am when they were burgled. Tylor, who was on bail for the first burglary, insisted he never entered the property and pointed the finger at an unidentified male accomplice.

During the incident two Nike bubble jackets, a pair of grey Nike Air trainers, sports bags, DVD's, cash, watches, a bank card and keys to the £1,000 Corsa were stolen.

That bank card was used in Haslingden the same morning by Tylor and Cropper at a total of 10 times. There was also one failed attempt.

Tylor pleaded guilty to committing two burglaries, fraud by false representation and breaching a community order.