A drunk thug 'rugby tackled' a female police officer after punching a Good Samaritan who was trying to stop him from getting away with a woman's mobile phone.

Serene Fall, 24, had asked a woman for a cigarette at about 4.30am on Major Street in the city centre, close to the Gay Village.

She gave him a cigarette and Fall then hugged her.

After he had walked off, the woman realised that Fall had stolen her phone which contained pictures of her three-year-old daughter, which she would have lost with the phone.

She started to run after Fall, and after seeing this a male bystander also started to follow him.

The incident happened in the early hours on Major Street

After he caught up with Fall, the defendant told him: "Mate it's probably not even worth it, I am going to give it back to her."

Fall punched him to the face, causing him to fall over.

Despite being attacked, the man got up started to chase him again.

By this time, in the early hours of December 29, police had become aware and a female officer arrived and drew her Taser.

Fall continued to run at her, and he 'rugby tackled' her, causing her to fall back onto the ground.

He was caught shortly after.

Fall pleaded guilty to theft, assault by beating and assaulting an emergency worker

The woman said she was 'absolutely petrified' and felt her kindness had been taken advantage of.

The member of the public said he was 'scared and distressed', while the officer said she felt 'shaken'.

No-one was seriously hurt.

Fall, a painter and decorator, is 'disgusted' and 'ashamed' at his actions, and would like to have the opportunity to apologise to the woman face to face, his lawyer Jane Miller said.

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She said Fall had consumed 'large amounts' of alcohol prior to the incident, and that he was still 'very drunk' when he was arrested.

Sentencing, Judge Timothy Smith ordered Fall to complete a 12 month community order, to include 200 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He had been remanded in custody since the incident.

The judge also commended the actions of member of the public in helping to chase down Fall.

At Manchester Crown Court, Fall, of Salford, pleaded guilty to theft, assault by beating and assaulting an emergency worker.