A THUG who headbutted a volunteer police officer before kicking him in the head while he lay prone on the floor has been jailed for six years.

Jack Hudson had been out drinking with pals in Colchester town centre in January and sunk up to nine double vodkas during the course of the evening.

In the early hours of the next day, he and his group became involved in an altercation with some other people in the High Street.

The police were called after one man - not Hudson - tapped a wine glass on the ground, arming himself with a broken shard of glass.

The special officers arrived in a marked car to find the the armed man.

They were then threatened and sworn at by the group, before Hudson headbutted one of the officers - a special inspector - directly in the face.

While he was reeling, one of Hudson's friends punched him and another tackled him to the ground.

The officer then heard footsteps which turned out to be Hudson, 20, taking a run up to kick him in the head while he was on all fours.

He then attempted another stamp, and punched the other officer - a special constable.

Hudson, of Bromley Close, Clacton, then ran off and was found hiding nearby under metal sheeting.

The constable suffered a broken nose and a split lip, but the inspector had two jaw fractures - only one of which doctors were able to repair for fear of causing further damage.

He underwent surgery which mean three teeth had to be removed and he has been told he could be without feeling for 18 months,

Hudson accepted what he had done to police immediately in an interview and later admitted to grievous bodily harm with intent and actual bodily harm at Ipswich Crown Court.

Sasha Bailey, mitigating, said Hudson, who has no previous convictions, suffered low mood and previously used alcohol to help him in social situations.

However since the incident he had virtually cut out booze and an expert recommended a clinical programme to examine his drinking.

She added: "He asks me to say he is extremely sorry for the situation - not that he has put himself in - but for the situation the two officers find themselves in.

Passing sentence, judge David Pugh said he had shown leniency because Hudson had shown remorse, was immature and had admitted what he had done.

He said: "This was an unprovoked attack on officers carrying out their public duty.

"The attack on the inspector was particularly violent - headbutting him in the face and shortly afterwards kicking him while he was defenceless on the ground."

Another man faces trial for his alleged part in the incident later this month.