Jamie Brown went as far as writing a letter to Sheriff Douglas Kinloch asking to be remanded in custody.
Clearly surprised, the sheriff remarked: “I can’t send people to prison just because they want to go in. Prison has to be appropriate in terms of public protection and punishment.”
Brown – who has a lengthy criminal record featuring ten previous convictions – anticipated being jailed for attacking the police officer.
He also admitted committing a breach of the peace by shouting homophobic remarks at officers, threatening violence and behaving aggressively.
He pleaded guilty to committing both offences at Livingston police station on November 20 last year after he and his partner were arrested for causing a disturbance in a pub.
In addition, Brown, 31, and Denise Jenkinson, 30, both of Meadowbank, Livingston, admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner in the Saltire Bar by shouting and swearing, uttering threats of violence and refusing to leave.
Jenkinson also pleaded guilty to punching Pc Benjamin Ross on the head during the pub fracas.
Fiscal depute Alistair Macleod told the court that Brown’s victim, Pc Alan Smyth, had not suffered any injury as a result of the punch.
After a short adjournment, Brown’s solicitor, Thomas Docherty, repeated his client’s instruction to “invite the court to revoke bail” for the preparation of background reports.
Sheriff Kinloch told Brown: “I’ve considered the question of whether you should remain at liberty.
“Given I haven’t heard the details of the offences to which you have now pled guilty. You have a number of previous convictions for similar matters and that gives rise to concern.
“You were given bail when you were presumed to be innocent and you have now accepted that you caused disturbances and assaulted a police officer.
“You’re right, I’m afraid, to say that a prison sentence is appropriate.
“Accordingly, I do think it is appropriate for public protection and because you’ve admitted your guilt that you be remanded in custody.”
Both Brown and Jenkinson will be sentenced on March 24.