A BURGLAR told a court he launched a volley of vile racist abuse at a police officer because he was laughing at him being dragged through dog mess.

Christopher Howard said the officer was mocking him when he got back to the police station after being arrested following a house raid in the early hours of the morning.

And the 37-year-old, who has a long history of crime including another racially aggravated offence, also said he got a bang on the head as he was arrested.

But a judge told him he wouldn’t have got pulled through the muck had he not been out burgling houses and jailed him for 16 months.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court police rushed to the scene after reports of a burglary shortly before 4am on Friday October 21.

Officers found Howard hiding in a garden of another house in Raglan Close, where the break-in took place.

As well as wearing a black hoodie and jacket with gloves and a hat the police also found some pens stolen from the property on the ground nearby.

“Once taken to custody he was extremely offensive and abusive to PC Simon Sanghera,” Miss Hingston said.

Howards repeatedly racially abused him as he swore and threatened him saying they would see how big hewas if they took his handcuffs off.

When he was questioned he said he had been hiding from police because he was a criminal, and had no knowledge of the stolen property.

Howard, of Eldene Drive, admitted burglary, racially aggravated fear of provocation of violence and vehicle interference.

The court heard he had previous convictions for 61 offences, including two break-ins of houses but one was so old it didn’t warrant a three-strike sentence.

Laura Paisley, defending, said that he has been seen by the probation service and is suitable for a drug rehabilitation requirement.

She said that he only broke into the garage of the house, but as it was attached to the main part by an open door it counted as a dwelling.

After being remanded in custody she said he had got a methadone prescription which he is reducing so he can be a good father to his five-year old.

She said that he was in a bad place at the time and was simply throwing out abuse which included the vile comments.

And as Recorder Robert Pawson started to pass sentence Howard interrupted from the dock to explain his racist language.

“When he arrested me he dragged me through dog poo and he was laughing at me in the custody suite,” he told the court.

But the judge responded “The fact is you put yourself in that position when you went out burgling at 4 o’clock in the morning.”

“You say that there was an explanation for your language: the fact is you have at least one previous conviction for racially aggravated behaviour.

“Whatever you said is no explanation for speaking to another human being like that, referring to their skin colour or race.”