A JUDGE has warned an East Lancashire man - accused of biting a police officer during a coronavirus-related arrest - he must observe lockdown provisions before his next court appearance.

Christopher Hill was appearing before Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court after being arrested over an alleged attack on a female constable last month.

The 29-year-old, from Waterfoot, was said to have been visiting his partner, Marcel Roach, in Rochdale, when a disturbance occurred, in defiance of the current lockdown restrictions.

Police were called to the scene, in Drake Street, and during an ensuing struggle, Hill was alleged to have bitten a 21-year-old officer, before he was eventually arrested.

An image of the bite mark on her upper arm, alleged to have been caused by Hill, was later released by police.

Hill, of John Street, pleaded guilty to assaulting the police officer, assaulting a second officer, and damaging a door, to the value of £100, belonging to a housing company.

But while appearing in court via a video link from Forest Bank Prison, he denied assaulting Miss Roach and wounding the police officer with intent.

Robert Hall, prosecuting, said: “I don’t believe I am over-expressing the position that there is not complete agreement between the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in whether to pursue a trial over count three (the wounding offence).”

He told the court the police had lodged an appeal over the prosecution’s stance, which would take some time to determine.

Hill has been kept in custody since the alleged incident, on April 9, but was allowed bail by Judge Angela Nield.

Defence counsel Andrew Friend said: “The plan would be for him to return to his own supported lodgings in John Street, Waterfoot.”

Mr Friend told the court his client’s mother was a frequent visitor, offering assistance with his day-to-day requirements.

Judge Nield granted him bail on condition there was no contact with Miss Roach, until the next hearing, and he does not attend her home address.

“You must not go to Drake Street in Rochdale. You must live and sleep at the address which has been given to the court,” the judge added.

Hill was told his case would be adjourned for a review to take place and he should be back in court on June 19. If a trial is to take place on the two outstanding charges it would begin on April 14 next year.