A MAN who fled police custody and assaulted two officers has avoided jail time.

Mark Watson, of Sarum Hill, Kings Furlong, was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months, for attacking not only the officers but also his mother.

Watson appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday last week having previously pleaded guilty to one count of causing actual bodily harm (ABH), two counts of assaulting a emergency worker and one count of escaping custody.

The court heard that on November 18, the 50-year-old lashed out at his 85-year-old mother, who he had moved in with after a breakdown in his marriage.

Prosecutor Rob Welling told the court that Watson's mother had called him downstairs to watch a TV programme.

Mr Welling said: “He [Watson] came down in a grump and grabbed her by the neck and she fell to the floor.

“She gave him £20 to leave the house, which he did.”

The police were called following the incident and when officers tired to make an arrest the defendant lashed out, punching one of the officers in the face and kicking him in the groin.

The officers deployed a Taser, but the connection was not made correctly and Watson made off, being at large for 21 days.

The court heard that when Watson escaped custody, he had handcuffs dangling from one of his wrists.

The defendant was finally apprehended on December 11 in Festival Place.

Hearing his actions being read out to the court, Watson had his head lowered while sat in the dock, not looking up once to face the court.

Defending Watson, Karen Dempsey, said he had no previous convictions and being confronted by officers exacerbated the incident.

She said: “He cannot remember a deal of what happened with the police and why he reacted in that manner. He was agitated towards how he acted toward his mother and by hitting out at the officers made the whole situation much worse.”

Judge Andrew Barnett, said running away was a “foolish” thing to in

Watson was sentenced to six months for the ABH, six months for escaping custody, and two months for each of the assaults, to run concurrently. The sentence was suspended for 18 months, and he must carry out 25 rehabilitation days and 100 hours of unpaid work.