A SWINDON man shoved a police sergeant and threatened to kill him, a court heard.

Joshua Richards pushed the officer, who had gone to the man’s partner’s home in Toothill following reports of a covid regulations breach, while serving on a suspended sentence for attacking another officer.

Extending the earlier suspended sentence order to two years and imposing a new 12 week suspended sentence, District Judge Joanna Dickens tore into the 26-year-old.

She said: “This is an incredibly serious offence. You may say it’s only words; well, it’s not only words.

“You have to imagine what it’s like to be a police officer. Police officers do one of the most difficult jobs in our society.

“Every day they are taking their lives into their hands.”

The judge added: “We will find if we, as a society, treat our police officers like this we will have no police officers. Who will do this job when they put themselves at huge risk?”

Earlier, prosecutor Emma Charleton told Swindon Magistrates’ Court police had been called to a house – understood to be in Toothill – on Saturday, January 9, following reports of a breach of coronavirus rules.

Ms Charleton said: “While police are leaving the address a female at the rear of the property is screaming and she appears to be on the floor. Officers went to enter the property to check on her welfare. While doing so, Mr Richards becomes aggressive.”

He was said to have shouted and sworn at police. He threatened: “I’m going to kill you, bruv.” After pushing the officer he was taken to the ground.

Interviewed by police, he said of the officer he assaulted: “He’s lucky I didn’t swing for his jaw.” The sergeant was repeatedly called as a “fat ****” by Richards.

The court heard Richards was already subject to a suspended sentence order, imposed last year for assaulting an emergency worker.

Appearing before Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Richards, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker.

Moses Tawo, defending, asked the district judge not to activate the earlier suspended sentence. His client had been at his partner’s address when police arrived. Another man, who was apparently wanted by police, had injured himself trying to jump a fence and was lying in the back garden.

Richards had become frustrated that the officers were not going outside to help the man, Mr Tawo said. “Mr Richards and the police were coming from opposite directions and there was a failure of communication.” The defendant regretted his comments: “He doesn’t know this officer from Adam and had no intention of carrying out these threats.” His client suffered from a personality disorder.

District Judge Dickens told Richards: “I should be sending you to prison today.” However, after hearing he was complying with the probation service, she extended his previous suspended sentence order and imposed a new order of 12 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for two years. He must pay £200 compensation and complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Richards, who had earlier called the judge a “lovely lass”, thanked her. He added: “I’m sorry and I’m sorry for wasting your time.”