A BUILDER who fled from police and spent two months on the run has been caught and jailed.

Jesse Burbridge made threats to kill a woman in Brighton and was on licence from prison when he was stopped by PC Andrew Dunkling outside Worthing Family Court in April. He panicked, punched the officer and ran off by jumping on the bonnet of a car and over a gate, then over a roof where he injured himself.

After he was found he complained he had a broken arm, so officers took him to Worthing Hospital for an X-ray, but he again gave them the slip while still in handcuffs.

It led to a major police search involving the force helicopter and the dog unit, but they could not find him, so officers first offered £500, and then £1,000 for information that could lead to his capture.

When they eventually caught up with him in Hove in June, he again tried to escape, leaving PC David Knight bloodied and exhausted in the chase as Burbridge tried to escape from three officers.

But the 22-year-old builder was tracked down, and appeared at Lewes Crown Court via video link from Lewes Prison, where Judge Christine Laing QC jailed him for a total of two years.

Burbridge, of Barnet Way in Hangleton, wore a blue T-shirt and grey shorts as he appeared in court.

He admitted four charges, two of assaulting a police officer in the execution of their duty, escaping from lawful detention and causing unlawful damage to a car.

Dominic Benthall, prosecuting, said: “He was wanted after making threats to kill Saifron Decker, which caused enough fear for her to move her family out of Brighton.

“Then in April, PC Dunkling was on patrol in Worthing and noticed a man acting suspiciously. He tried to take hold of Mr Burbridge.

“But Mr Burbridge pushed PC Dunkling away and started swinging his fists, and hit him in the chest. He then fled.

“Some time later he was caught and taken to Worthing Hospital by officers. Staff there gave him an X-ray, but when he was still in handcuffs he pushed past two police officers and ran off.”

Richard Cherrill, defending, said Burbridge had already experienced some “poetic justice” for his injuries, but regrets hurting the officers.

Mr Cherrill said: “He has had the chance to reflect, and he told me he understands he shouldn’t have done it. He said he is sorry for any injury he has caused and the officers who were hurt. He has a very sorry history of offending, but he sees this as the end of the road for him. In his words he wants to ‘chuck it all in and start settling down’.

“Mr Burbridge has a two-year-old daughter and was in the middle of a family court hearing, where he hoped to have contact with her. He was outside with a cigarette when the officer arrested him, and perhaps he was understandably agitated because the hearing was of great importance.”

Judge Laing QC sentenced Burbridge to two months for criminal damage and three months for assaulting PC Dunkling, to run concurrently.

For escaping lawful custody she sentenced him to 16 months, and added a further five months for assaulting PC David Knight.

The sentences will run consecutively, taking the total to two years in all.

She told him: “For a young man, you have an appalling history, quite frankly. This matter is aggravated by the fact you were still on licence, having just been sentenced for affray.

“When you escaped lawful custody there was a significant police presence with helicopters and dogs, at a time when the community could have done with their assistance, but they were searching for you.”