A MAN who punched a woman in the face and injured a police officer has been jailed for 42 weeks.

Gareth John Mills, aged 31, of Sherborne Causeway in Shaftesbury, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Wednesday, March 22 for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and obstructing or resisting an officer in the execution of their duty.

The attack took place at an address in the Ringwood Road area of Alderholt at about 7.30pm on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

The court was told that Mills, who had been drinking since 4pm, punched his victim three times in the face – causing her nose to start bleeding – and pinned her up against a cupboard.

She managed to pull away and was chased by the defendant as she ran out of the house and across the road.

He caught up with her and pulled her back to the address by her hair.

Police attended shortly afterwards and as two officers attempted to arrest Mills, the defendant threw a punch at one of them and barged past, causing the officer to stumble backwards and jar his neck.

Mills fled the scene and was located at about 9.25pm on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at a friend’s address following a wanted appeal issued by Dorset Police on Friday, December 16, 2016.

The court was told Mills’ victim, aged in her 20s, had feared for her life during the attack and sustained injuries to her face and neck.

Detective Constable Nick Gravenor, of Dorset Police, said: “I am pleased that Gareth Mills accepted his guilt in relation to his actions toward his female victim and also toward arresting officers.

“Violence is never acceptable in any situation.

“I hope this case demonstrates that police and courts take this type of assault very seriously as well as any violence or aggression directed toward police officers.”