IN HIS career, PC Nick Beech has been kicked, punched and spat at – but the bite he received from Steven Bird was the first time he had been assaulted in this way.

He told The Gazette: “I think all assaults are horrible, but I think being spat at and bitten are two of the worst. It’s almost animalistic.”

PC Beech, 33, was acting sergeant on January 25, helping Basingstoke CID with the arrest of Bird in the course of an investigation into a string of garage break-ins.

It was when PC Beech made the arrest that Bird bit him, leaving three puncture wounds on the base of his right thumb.

He said: “It was very painful. I shouted out to my colleagues but he did not release his bite and I had to use reasonable force to get my thumb out of his mouth.

“At hospital, I had blood tests and a tetanus inoculation and a Hepatitis A jab. I had to wait for four weeks to get the all clear from the blood tests.”

The bite had an effect on PC Beech’s professional and personal life too. He was on light duties until the mobility in his right thumb returned, and he was unable to do day-to-day tasks for his infant son.

PC Beech said: “I do a job where you have to deal with violent people and accept the risks, but what he did was totally unacceptable.

“He has to realise that is why he was charged with a serious offence, and the court has recognised that.”