A DRUNK man who bit a police officer’s hand as he was escorted off a flight to Ibiza has been spared jail.

Conor Crosby, 24, of Princes Close, Laindon, launched himself at PC Ian Thompson and Det Con Dan Waller when they tried to evict him from the EasyJet flight, which was due to take off from Southend Airport.

The police were called on Wednesday, September 14 because Crosby’s drunken and disruptive behaviour had alerted the attention of Captain Michael Simmons.

Crosby, a scaffolder, appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Friday, where he admitted assaulting two police officers, failing to leave the aeroplane on request and being drunk on an aeroplane.

He also admitted acting recklessly in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or people in an aircraft.

Angela Hughes, prosecuting, said: “Crosby boarded the flight and had taken his seat, however a member of the cabin crew told the captain that he was being abusive to another passenger.

“Crosby went to use the toilet and was unsteady on his feet. That was when police were called to the flight to have him removed.”

When the officers arrived, Crosby turned threatening and violent.

Ms Hughes added: “Crosby told the officers that he would punch them in the face if they tried to get him off the plane.

“There had been a struggle which led to PC Thompson putting him in a headlock to try and restrain him.

“The defendant was trying to bite the police officer.”

Ms Hughes told the court that the officers had to punch Crosby in the face to knock him to the ground, in a bid to restrain him.

She said: “The officers thought that they were in a vulnerable position being at the top of the flight of stairs.”

The incident meant the flight was grounded for 25 minutes.

After the scuffle, PC Thompson was left with a bite mark to his hand and grazes to his knuckles.

Beth Brown, mitigating, said: “He accepts that him and his friends were in high spirits and were quite rowdy.

“He said that he asked the officers to give him another opportunity and he then fully accepts trying to resist the officers.

“Now looking back at the situation, he wishes that he had left the aircraft itself but sadly that did not take place and all he can remember is being taken to the floor. He is remorseful and shocked by his actions.”

Magistrates ordered Crosby to carry out a 12-month community order, with 80 hours of unpaid work and to complete a thinking skills programme.

He must also pay £100 compensation, £85 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.