A MAN released from custody with a warning ringing in his ear offended within hours.

Blackburn magistrates heard Christopher Costello had been made subject to a suspended prison sentence on Tuesday.

Deputy District Judge Ian Barnes told him: "I am going to give you an opportunity to comply and, ultimately, the consequences of you not complying will be for you to go back to prison."

Later that day he stole from a Colne shop and when police arrived assaulted a female officer by making her think he was going to spit on her.

Costello, 32, of Cleveland Street, Colne, pleaded guilty to stealing a can of lager and a packet of crisps from Abdul Ghafoor and common assault of an emergency worker. He was jailed for four weeks for the assault and a further 12 weeks for breaching the suspended sentence order.

When Costello was in court on Tuesday he was also made subject to a curfew between 7pm and 7am.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said the latest offences were committed at 9.40pm when he should have been at home.

He said Costello was known to the shopkeeper because of previous incidents.

He was challenged about taking the can and went back into the shop and stole the snacks.

When police arrived he became aggressive and had to be pepper-sprayed before they could handcuff him.

"He was making a sound in his throat and his head moved as though he was going to spit at the officer," said Mr Robinson. "That is what the officer feared and he was placed in a spit hood."

Phillip Turner, defending, said when he went into the shop Costello did not intend to steal.

"He was challenged by the shopkeeper who said he owed him money and he decided on the spur of the moment not to pay for the items," said Mr Turner.

He said the police approached his client in an aggressive way and one of them knocked the can out of his hand.

"To some extent that set the stall for what happened next," said Mr Turner.

"He says he was pepper-sprayed and was clearing his throat after that which was when the officer feared he was going to spit at her."