A MAN who spat at a police officer and smeared faeces and blood on the walls of his cell has pleaded for more support as he comes to terms with the suicide of his brother.

Oliver Fearnall told magistrates yesterday he has been "crying out for help" but has been "let down" by the likes of addiction charity Swanswell and the probation service, finding comfort solely from drink.

The 27-year-old also cares full-time for his mum who has a life-limiting illness, but admitted "the only time I have to myself is on the bottle".

Having been arrested on July 14 for stealing alcohol worth £12.70 from a SPAR shop, Fearnall spat at PC Steven Hemming as he was brought into Worcester Police Station and then committed the dirty protest.

Mark Sheward, defending, said his client "has not had the best time in recent years" having been diagnosed with PTSD following the death of his brother.

The solicitor said Fearnall "has been given medication in the past but it did not really help, so he uses alcohol to block out the bad thoughts he has".

"It was not a sophisticated theft," continued Mr Sheward, who explained his client had no money on the day in question. "He was always going to be seen and was apprehended."

The defendant told him officers "weren't particularly nice" while taking him to the station and "as a consequence" he acted out.

The court heard Fearnall cares for his mum at her home in Meadow Walk, Droitwich, spending £400 of his £600 monthly Universal Credit payments towards running the property.

"There’s a good side to this young man, he is trying his best," said Mr Sheward.

The defendant is currently under post-sentencing supervision for a different offence, but his solicitor said he is "not really seeking help" and is "trying to work through his difficulties" alone but is in a "very dark place".

Mr Sheward said he hopes Fearnall comes to realise the services he has criticised "are there to help him, not punish him".

Chair of the bench Vicky Quarton gave Fearnall an eight week prison term, suspended for 12 months, for the assault, and fined him for the theft and damage.

He was ordered to pay over £544 in fines, costs and compensation.

Ms Quarton said she understood the "immense" impact of suicide and encouraged him to seek out bereavement support.

If you are suffering with suicidal thoughts, you can contact Samaritans in confidence for free from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit.

Or you can email jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your local branch of Samaritans where you can talk to one of its volunteers face to face.