A BOLTON police officer who lost his temper and deliberately flung a handcuffed prisoner to the ground where his head smashed into the pavement knocking him unconscious has been jailed.

A judge told PC Andrew Hamer today that witnesses had been shocked and horrified at his behaviour and a hostile crowd quickly gathered at the scene in Manchester city centre.

Judge Mark Brown said: "Public trust in the community depends on the standards set by the police. A feature of that trust is that the public can expect they would not be assaulted by officers even if they were being a nuisance.

"You have not only let yourself down but also in a significant way the Greater Manchester Police and the fact it happened in public in front of so many people is bound to undermine confidence in the police.”

He said that Hamer's prisoner, 55-year-old Anthony Bradbury, who was handcuffed from behind, was smaller in stature than six foot tall Hamer, had not posed a threat and had been quite affable while with Hamer's two female colleagues.

Judge Brown told 38-year-old Hamer, a former soldier of Albion Street, Bolton that not withstanding testimonials and a commendation from his chief constable for his work during the Manchester riots there had to be an immediate jail sentence.

He added: "The message must go out to Greater Manchester Police that officers cannot behave in this way and simply get away with it."

Liverpool Crown Court heard the three officers were on duty in Manchester city centre on the afternoon of July 28, 2012.

Andrew Ford, prosecuting, said officers arrested Mr Bradbury, who was drunk, in Starbuck's in Market Street for a public order offence.

After handcuffing him from behind PC Hamer brought him outside and his two female colleagues waited with him while Hamer went back inside to talk to witnesses.

When Hamer came back out Mr Bradbury was heard saying to Hamer, 'let's have a one to one now' and Hamer said, 'are those threats to kill?"

He then took him to a quieter street and placed him facing the wall.

While waiting for a police van Hamer suddenly used his left leg to knock his prisoner's legs from under him and he fell to the ground.

His head hit the pavement with a loud crack and he was knocked out.

Hamer told the court he had decided to take Mr Bradbury to the ground as he believed he was going to headbutt him but while doing so he lost his grip on the handcuffs and had not intended to injure him.

Michael Hayton, QC, defending, said two years ago Hamer, who was jailed for 12 months, was a married man with a good job serving the community. His has now been divorced by his wife, will lose his job and pension rights and is "a broken man".