A HADDINGTON workman who witnessed two men attempting to break into his van ended up in police custody after he became abusive while reporting the crime.

John McLean, 42, saw the two thieves try to enter his vehicle near to his home as he returned from a night out with friends.

McLean, who had been drinking alcohol, was so enraged by the attempted theft he turned up at Haddington Police Station later that night to report the incident.

But during the exchange with officers in August last year, McLean believed them to be “indifferent” to his request for assistance and started shouting and swearing.

The self-employed window cleaner and roofer then shouted threats towards officers and he was subsequently taken to the ground and handcuffed.

McLean, of Arthurs Way, was then being transferred to Dalkeith Police Station when he lashed out at PC Keith Douglas by kicking the officer to the body.

McLean appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to two charges including police assault.

Prosecutor Anna Robertson told the court that McLean had attended at the police station in the town at about 11.40pm on August 11 last year to report the attempted theft from his van.

Ms Robertson said that McLean rang the doorbell of the station and Sergeant Fleetwood attended to his request to speak to an officer.

But McLean soon became unruly and, despite being asked to calm down on several occasions, he continued his verbal tirade against the officers.

He shouted for them to “**** off” and attempted to push past one officer as he wanted to leave the premises.

Officers restrained him and he was grounded and handcuffed before being carried by two officers to a waiting police van.

It was during this incident that McLean lashed out with his feet while he was in a horizontal position and struck PC Douglas to the chest with his feet.

Solicitor Jonathan Campbell said that his client had been on a night out with friends when he returned to his home and spotted the would-be thieves.

He decided to report the matter in person as there had been “trade vehicles targeted” in the area and he knew the identity of the thieves.

Mr Campbell said that McLean was “not in the best frame of mind” at the time and soon became “belligerent” due to him believing the police were being “indifferent” towards him.

The lawyer added: “He should have went to the police station in the morning when he was sober.”

Sheriff Peter McCormack said that McLean had “a poor [criminal] record, but it is of some age” and decided to hand out a £360 fine to the workman.

McLean pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing, uttering threats of violence and struggling violently with police officers at Haddington police office on August 11 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Keith Douglas by kicking him to the body on the same date.