A MAN tried to push a police officer down the stairs when he confronted him outside his flat.

Blackburn magistrates heard Sean Dunn also swung a punch at the officer and eventually had to be pepper sprayed before he could be subdued.

Dunn, 33, of Pollard Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker. He was made subject to a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £15 compensation to the officer.

Janice Vallance, prosecuting, had gone to the defendant's home address to speak to him about another matter and they came face to face on the communal stairway.

"The defendant became agitated and ignored efforts by the officer to calm him down," said Miss Vallance.

"He put his hands on his chest and tried to push him backwards down the stairs. Fortunately the officer managed to keep his balance."

She said Dunn took a swing at the officer which just missed and he had to be taken to the floor and pepper sprayed to gain control.

Zabair Afzal, defending, said his client accepted it was his fault he was appearing in court.

"He also understands the officer could have fallen backwards on the stairs and suffered serious injuries," said Mr Afzal. "Fortunately that didn't happen."