A MAN who bit a police officer on the arm, resulting in a deep wound and hospital treatment, has been sentenced to four years custody.

Mark Archibald, aged 38, from Salisbury, pleaded guilty to assault by beating, wounding with intent and assault on an emergency worker.

While resisting arrest Archibald had bit one of the police officers on his arm, causing injuries so severe that they required hospital treatment and it is likely to leave permanent scarring.

It was heard at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, that on June 2 Wiltshire Police officers responded to an emergency call that a man had been assaulted by another man in Fisherton Street.

Archibald was pursued to Elizabeth Gardens where he resisted the arresting officers, inflicting a deep bite wound on one of them before he was subdued by incapacitant spray.

Praising the actions of the officers involved, Wiltshire Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “I would like to pay tribute to the actions of both of the officers involved in this horrendous incident.

"Under the most challenging circumstances they were able to arrest this individual in a calm and professional manner and place the safety of the general public above their own. They are a credit to Wiltshire Police and should feel rightly proud of their actions.”

Inspector Pete Sparrow added: "This was an abhorrent crime that shocked everyone.

"I do not wish to comment or remember the offender in this instance and wish to save my praise for the professional way that my officers reacted to this incident.

“The focus at this time was very much on our police service, so to see a young officer, who has just been assaulted in the most horrific way, remain calm, placing public perception above his own needs was a moment he should be very proud of.

"I must also remind everyone that such incidents are rare and Salisbury remains a safe low crime area in which to live or work.”