A DRUNK was pepper sprayed as a police officer wrestled with him on the ground.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard police had been called to Beatrice Street, Gorse Hill, on May 2 after reports that a man was shouting in the street and falling into cars.

When a PC Saunders arrived at the scene he found a heavily intoxicated Piotr Gawin swaying beside a wall and trying to light a cigarette. The officer was unable to find out where the 31-year-old lived.

Prosecutor Emma Charleton said Gawin began to apparently goad another male by “swinging his body in an aggressive manner”.

The man was arrested but began to resist the officer. Gawin ended up being taken to the floor and sprayed with PAVA pepper spray as the constable struggled to place him in handcuffs. At one stage, he was said to have grabbed the constable by the wrists. The officer was left with a small wound to his hand.

Gawin, of Beatrice Street, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and assaulting an emergency worker.

Terry McCarthy, defending, said his client had had more to drink than he thought. “That particular day it was a nice sunny day. He said he had a couple of beers and he decided to go over to the lake for a walk. He took some beer with him to drink and it appears he had more than he should have done.”

Interviewed by police, the defendant said he had no memory of the incident. He apologised for his actions.

He was now back in work and earned around £260-£300 a week.

Magistrates fined Gawin £470 and ordered he pay £100 compensation to PC Saunders. He must pay £85 costs and a £47 victim surcharge.