POLICE driving down Gannow Lane in Burnley came across a man in the middle of the road hurling abuse at passing motorists.

Blackburn magistrates heard Darren Taylor completely ignored a female officer who tried to intervene before turning his attentions to a woman who turned out to be his girlfriend.

The officer feared Taylor was going to assault his partner but when she took hold of him he assaulted her instead.

Taylor, 55, of Griffin Close, Burnley, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker. He was fined £80 with £85 costs and £34 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £50 compensation.

Joseph Broadsmith, prosecuting, said the officer was driving along Gannow Lane at 5.30pm on a Wednesday night when she saw Taylor in the middle of the road.

He ignored her initial approach and then approached a female and started pointing in her face.

"The officer believed he was going to assault the woman and for that reason took hold of his arm," said Mr Broadsmith.

"He pulled away and then pushed the officer in the chest with both hands.

"Other officers came to assist and he was eventually handcuffed."

Colleen Dickinson-Jones, defending, said her client hadn't been in trouble for 14 years.

"At the time of this offence in March he was taking new anti-depressant medication and he thinks he had taken too much," said Mrs Dickinson-Jones.

"He was on his way to see his doctor, with his partner, when they had a row."

She said his recollection of the incident was quite poor and he put that down to the anti-depressant medication.