A DRUNKEN football fan who had travelled to a Chester FC game spat in the face of a St John Ambulance officer after he had dislocated his knee.

Joshua Gray, 30, of Auckland Avenue, Darlington, pleaded guilty at Chester Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 14 to assaulting victim Danielle Mclaren before the football match between Chester FC and Darlington on January 25.

He was handed a suspended prison term and a three-year Football Banning Order preventing him from attending matches.

Prosecuting, Alan Currums said the victim had been a volunteer with the St John Ambulance for four years and had received extensive first aid training, as well as experience in events such as music concerts and at Chester FC matches.

At 2.40pm, she had been called to the away section where a man – Gray – had dislocated his knee.

He was asked if he had been taking anything and Gray initially replied "nothing", before saying he had taken tablets so he could go to the game. He then added: "I am absolutely f***ing wasted".

Gray was taken outside the football ground for treatment, and his left trouser leg was cut open so medical treatment could be administered.

The defendant kept trying to get up, saying he wanted to get inside the ground, was slurring his words and said he had a cocaine addiction.

He began kicking out and as Ms Mclaren leaned over to examine the knee, which looked injured, she felt something wet on the top of her forehead, around her hairline.

She looked up and Gray spat in her face.

One of Gray's friends said: "He didn't mean it", but the St John Ambulance officer replied: "He did mean it".

Gray's condition deteriorated and he lost consciousness. He began snoring and did not respond to officers, while his friends were also seen to be under the influence and causing problems.

After the assault, Ms Mclaren was really anxious she might have caught something from Gray.

Gray had two previous convictions, one for being drunk and disorderly and one for assault.

Defending, Richard Simm said Gray had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He had arrived at Chester FC at 1pm on the coach with friends and they had gone to a pub for pre-match drinking.

When leaving the pub, one of his friends leapt on to his back unexpectedly as a piggyback gesture and he fell, hitting his knee on the ground and it turned out he had actually fractured his kneecap, the court heard.

An ambulance was called but they were told they could be waiting a couple of hours, so Gray went back into the pub to "numb the pain" by consuming a large amount of whisky.

A report from probation heard the contents of a 70 centilitre bottle were consumed.

After that, Gray had no real recollection of what happened at the football ground, with the next thing he remembered being waking up at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

He could not believe his actions and wished to apologise to the victim and her witness.

He worked as a hospital porter, was seeking to reduce his drinking and had been to see his GP to address the issues.

Magistrates handed Gray an 18-week prison term, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to complete 250 hours unpaid work.

He must pay £250 compensation to the victim and was handed a three-year Football Banning Order.

He must also pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.