A DRUNKEN troublemaker spat in the face of a police officer trying to arrest him.
Mark Little ran off after officers found two lumps of cannabis hidden in a Kinder Egg in his trousers.
When they caught up with him, he struggled, and, after being wrestled to the ground, spat at the officer from just a foot away.
The 31-year-old pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and possessing a Class B drug at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Little, of Drake Close, South Shields, also admitted theft after being caught stealing a box of Maltesers from Poundland in King Street, South Shields.
Susanne Baker, prosecuting, said: “He was seen in the shop acting suspiciously and was confronted by a member of staff.
“He took some items from his pocket and put them back on the shelves and left.
“However, outside he was stopped again and he was found with a box of Maltesers.”
Mrs Baker told the court that on Wednesday, August 14, police officers were pointed in the direction of Little and saw him arguing with two other men in the street.
She added: “He was drunk and abusive to the officers.
“They saw him put something down the front of his trousers, and when they searched him, they found a Kinder Egg with two lumps of cannabis resin inside.
“He ran off and was flailing his arms around to try to avoid being arrested.
“He was taken to the ground, and as one of the officers turned him over, he spat in his face from 30cm away.”
In June, Little was given a six-month community order at the same court after admitting stealing an Auf Wiedersehen, Pet DVD box set from South Shields’ Central Library.
Richard Rodger, defending, said: “He has 48 convictions, and the majority of them are for stupid things.
“He appreciates he is close to going to custody for these matters, and would be grateful for another chance.”
Magistrates gave Little a four-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, with supervision and drug rehabilitation requirements.
He was also ordered to pay £80 costs.