A FATHER-OF-EIGHT who threatened to bite police and hoped they and their children would die of cancer has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Jessica Lister, prosecuting, said officers had to use incapacitating spray during a lengthy struggle to arrest Jamie Adam Kendra, 35, at his home.

"This defendant was heavily intoxicated and seemed to be, in the officers' words, 'irate at the officers being in attendance'," she said.

He told them "I hope you get cancer and die", "I hope your kids get cancer and die", "I am going to bite your face," she said.

During the struggle that started in his house and continued as he was manhandled out of the building into a police van, Kendra spat in the direction of one of the officers.

They had gone to the house at 1.30am on August 20 to arrest him on an unconnected matter.

Kendra, of Chapelfields Road, Acomb, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker. He has previous convictions for assaulting police officers and was on a community order and a conditional discharge at the time.

He was jailed for 18 weeks at York Magistrates' Court.

The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, Lisa Winward, told the court in a statement: "It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, they are not simply ‘part of the job’.

"On a personal basis, police colleagues suffer not just physical injuries, but also the psychological effects. Many find the return to frontline duties after being assaulted, especially challenging or traumatic."

For Kendra, Steve Munro said he had not intended to spit at the officer.

"It was regrettable behaviour and he regrets the behaviour he demonstrated on that day," he said.

The cancer remarks had been a reference to Kendra's partner, who was terminally ill with cancer and not aimed directly at the officers, said the defence solicitor. Kendra had eight children.

He had been struggling mentally and was getting help from the Changing Lives rehabilitation agency for alcohol abuse. He was also taking prescription drugs for depression.