A 33-year-old Cirencester man who assaulted a police officer by putting his hands around his neck has avoided an immediate jail term - even though it was his third such offence.

Daniel Clements of Victoria Road, Cirencester, pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on January 12, to assaulting PC Webb by beating him during the execution of his duties as an emergency worker in Cirencester on November 2, last year.

The magistrates sentenced him to 12 weeks jail suspended for a year.

They said a prison term was necessary, albeit suspended, because Clements had put his hands around the officer's neck and had two previous offences on his record for assaulting officers. Also because he was subject to a community order at the time.

But they said they felt they could suspend the term because there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and Clements had self referred for help with his alcohol problem.

Clements was further sentenced to do 40 hours of unpaid work for the community and up to 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

The magistrates ordered him also to pay £100 compensation to the officer.