A man who assaulted police after being rescued from a burning building has escaped a prison sentence.

Thomas Peter Anthony Mulligan with an address at Trasna Way, Lisnaskea appeared at Fermanagh Magistrates Court in relation to an incident which took place on October 10, 2016.

The court heard that on the date in question at around 12am police attended a fire at a house in Lisnaskea. The house was that of the wife and children of the defendant.

Mulligan was rescued from the house fire by Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Personnel (NIFRS).

During the incident, the 48 year old be came aggressive and lunged at police officers, spitting in one officers face.

He was arrested for assault on police to which he responded: "See if I care."

Mulligan's defence barrister Stefan Rafferty told the court that his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that although the matter goes back to 2016, it was only in recent months that it had become before this court due to significant other charges being discontinued and the sensible approach taken by the defendant who accepted the charge and allegation.

Mr. Rafferty said that his client was frank and honest during his interview with police.

He said Mulligan had little recollection of the night in question but when it was put to him he apologised directly to the officer and that it was out of character for him to have acted in this manner and he regretted it happening.

Mr. Rafferty continued saying Mulligan knows it was an unpleasant offence which the court take a serious view of and he will be dealt with accordingly.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan gave credit for Mulligan's early plea and apology and said he had to take all this into account along with the delay in the case.

However, he said there was an aggravating feature, which was the spitting in the officer's face which was very badly humiliating for the officer, and that the custody threshold was met.

Taking into account all that was said, he sentenced Mulligan to three months imprisonment, however he suspended it for 18 months warning the defendant that if he breached this suspended sentence he would be back in front of the courts again and could well go to prison.