A father who went out to celebrate the birth of his baby ended up spending the night in a cell after head-butting a man before punching a police officer in the face.

Thomas Foord, 20, who admitted common assault and assault causing actual bodily harm, was given a suspended prison sentence at Lewes Crown Court.

The court heard Foord, a father-of-two, who has no previous convictions, started causing trouble in the Trek nightclub, in Newhaven, on the night of October 21 last year after drinking ten pints of lager.

He approached Andrew Baker, another clubber, who had started a relationship with an ex-girlfriend of Foord's cousin. Foord called Mr Baker abusive names before headbutting him in the face, causing him a bleeding nose.

Dianne Gordon-Bassett, prosecuting, said: "The defendant told him to go home or he would stab him."

Foord, of Barn Rise, Seaford, stayed at the club until it closed after 2am. Outside a number of police officers who were ensuring there was no trouble at closing time saw Foord drunkenly shouting and swearing.

When Sergeant Andrew Harwood tried to get Foord to move on he refused.

The officer told Foord he was under arrest for abusive behaviour and he responded by punching the sergeant in the face, giving him a black eye and causing a cut, which left a scar.

Ahmed Hossain, defending, said Foord was a law-abiding, hard-working family man who had acted out of character after a night of drinking.

After his arrest, Foord apologised for hitting the officer and wrote a letter to him days later.

Judge Charles Kemp told Foord: "You have lost your good character in spectacular fashion.

Your conduct was appalling but I am prepared to accept it was, to a degree, surprising.

"The police officers' job is difficult enough these days and when somebody unleashes an attack on a decent officer trying to do his job, it makes it harder."

Foord was sentenced to ten months in jail suspended for two years. He was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He must pay £400 compensation to the police officer and £100 compensation to Mr Baker as well as £500 court costs.