A MAN escaped an immediate prison sentence after making an impassioned plea to magistrates.

Gary Davenport, who had been remanded in custody read a letter when he appeared via a video link to Blackburn magistrates.

The court heard he had been abused as a child while in a Fylde care home and this had left him with various emotional problems.

In May of last year he said he met "a beautiful girl with four beautiful children" and she had tried to persuade him to see a doctor.

"I thought I knew best and didn't," he said.

"It is the hardest thing |I have ever had to deal with but I realise it is now or never.

"I have to sort myself out or I will lose everything."

Davenport, 37, of Bridge View Gardens, Darwen, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour, assaulting a custody detention officer by spitting at him and criminal damage to the wing mirror of a car.

He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £200 compensation for the wind mirror and £100 to the victim of the assault.

Ann Deakin, prosecuting, said the owner of the car was working in the Nags Head on Blackburn Road, Accrington, when he looked out and saw a man and a woman arguing.

The man kicked the wing mirror off and the victim immediately went out and told Davenport he would be calling the police.

As officers approached they were flagged down by the car owner who pointed out Davenport.

"The defendant approached and made threats to smash his face in in front of the officers," said Mrs Deakin. "He was arrested and became racially abusive towards the officers.

Mrs Deakin said at the police station Davenport spat at a detention officer who said in a victim impact statement that he felt angry and upset that he had been violated in that manner.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client described his own behaviour as disgusting.

"Because of his demeanour he was pepper sprayed and taken to the ground quite violently. He accepts that he lost his temper."