A roofer who attacked two police officers who were simply trying to help him has been jailed.

Following an argument Craig Carl Downward had gone to sleep in his van outside his home.

Police called by his partner woke him and tried to persuade him to go somewhere else for the night.

An independent witness said the two officers had been patient and polite and had bent over backwards to persuade him but he ended up launching an attack on them.

One male officer struggled to breathe as he lay on the floor being pressed down by Downward while his female colleague was repeatedly kicked as she went to his aid.

Back up was called out and Downward was sprayed to get him to release his grip.

To make matters worse Downward was at the time subject to a suspended prison sentence for an earlier assault.

Downward, 41, of Council Street, Llay, admitted two charges of assaulting police officers in the execution of their duties and being in breach of the suspended sentence. He was jailed for 32 weeks.

Judge Niclas Parry told Mold Crown Court police turned up to help Downward.

They had been called by his partner who complained he had turned up drunk and abusive.

“All they did was to tell you they would take you home. You were immediately aggressive and confrontational,” the judge said.

“Despite their most patient response, you became more and more abusive. They continued to explain they were trying to help you.

“They were concerned about your wellbeing but you attacked them.”

The judge said Downward was completely out of control.

A witness had told how the officers remained tolerant and calm and explained they were there to help him, but his response was disgraceful.

He continually kicked a female officer to the legs and hips and another officer had difficulty breathing because of the struggle.

Downward, said Judge Parry, had a bad record for violence.

He was on a suspended sentence and had been given “a real chance” previously after attacking a man in a bedroom and breaking his nose.

Judge Parry said police officers would be protected by the court and, despite powerful mitigation, it had to be immediate custody.

Barrister Owen Edwards, prosecuting, said shortly before midnight on July 4 two police went to ask him to move from his van where he had gone to sleep.

His reaction was to lose his temper completely and he assaulted both of them in what was a sustained incident.

The officers had done “their level best” to persuade him to leave after they had been called out by his partner.

He refused to go to his mother’s home saying his stepfather was ill and when eventually it was decided he would have to be arrested, he struggled violently and both officers were hurt.

One officer fell to the ground as Downward tried to attack him and the effect of pressure on his neck meant he had difficulty breathing.

Downward struggled as the other officer put handcuffs on him and she was repeatedly kicked.

Arrested and interviewed, he claimed the officers were heavy handed.

The suspended sentence was imposed for an attack on a teenager who Downward found in bed with his then partner.

Nicholas Cockrell, defending, said Downward and that same partner continued their relationship and they now had a child.

That night Downward believed he was doing the right thing by leaving the house and going to sleep in the car.

Downward suffered ill-health and he helped care for his mother and his stepfather, who remained seriously ill.

He had not wanted to trouble his mother than night because of his stepfather’s condition.