A burglar from Widnes who assaulted an officer and spat inside a police car on numerous occasions when he was arrested has been jailed.
David Power, of no fixed address, broke into Appleton Village Pharmacy in Widnes overnight on Thursday 27 February.
The 37-year-old caused around £2,500 worth of damage to the pharmacy and stole two charity boxes containing an unknown quantity of cash.
Power was identified as the offender via CCTV footage.
He was arrested for the burglary on the morning of Saturday 29 February by an officer who was driving in Widnes and spotted Power.
The officer witnessed Power put something in a bin prior to him being arrested.
A Stanley knife was later found at the top of the rubbish in the bin.
While on route to custody Power became aggressive and abusive towards officers and continually spat inside the police car he was in.
He then kicked out at a police officer when in custody.
Power was subsequently charged with burglary, assaulting an emergency service worker and causing criminal damage to a police vehicle.
He admitted those offences but pleaded not guilty to possessing a bladed article in a public place in relation to the knife found in the bin.
Power also pleaded not guilty to a second burglary charge, in relation to an incident at Halton Gas on Deacon Road in Widnes overnight on Friday 28 February.
A window was smashed and the premises were ransacked during the incident but it is not known if anything was stolen.
It was decided that the charges Power pleaded not guilty to could lay on file as he was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday 6 May.
Appearing via a video link, he was jailed for two years and four months.
Detective Sergeant Roberts, of Widnes Local Policing Unit, said: “All forms of burglary are serious offences, but what makes David Power’s actions overnight on Thursday 27 February particularly despicable is that he targeted a pharmacy and stole a quantity of cash that he knew had been collected for charity.
“He then assaulted an officer and spat in a police car on several occasions after being arrested for the offence.
“The nature of policing inevitably requires officers to deal with violent and challenging situations but, regardless of the situation, being assaulted by a member of the public we serve should never be seen as an acceptable ‘part of the job’.
“An assault of a police officer, or any other emergency service worker, is an attack on society itself.
“When officers are taken off the streets through being injured by members of the public it can have an impact on the level of service we can provide.
“The same goes for when police cars are not able to be used through the actions of members of the public.
“Due to Power continually spitting in the police car he was taken to custody in, the vehicle had to be cleaned at the force’s expense and was off the road for a period of time.
“I am delighted that Power is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions and I hope that this case deters others from committing similar offences.”
On top of his custodial sentence, Power was ordered to pay a £181 victim surcharge.