A Guardia Civil officer was brutally assaulted by a prisoner who had been detained in the cells at Pilar de la Horadada, to which he had been transferred following the theft of a vehicle.

The police officer had to receive hospital treatment due to several serious injuries to his face and neck, and is now on sick leave “while recovering from his injuries,” according to a press release that was issued on Wednesday.

The prisoner, said to be a 36-year-old British national, was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the incident where he was being detained following the theft of a classic Ford Escort valued at more than 15,000 euros. The vehicle has since been recovered while the Briton has been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, when the owner of the car went to the offices of the Civil Guard in Pilar de la Horadada to report his abduction after having been forced into his garage the previous night.

While processing the complaint he received a call from an acquaintance alerting him his vehicle, a very striking mustard colour, had been seen driving through the neighbouring town of Orihuela.

A Civil Guard patrol was then despatched to the area to try to find the alleged thief which they subsequently achieved after several hours of patrolling. They eventually arrested him at home and took him to the cells in Pilar de La Horadada where he was charged and remained awaiting a court appearance.

The arrested man is said to have had obvious symptoms of being under the effects of alcohol and drugs and after a short detention he asked the agents to go to the toilet.

According to the duty officer, “as he was returned to his cell he attacked one of the civil guards. He was eventually restrained by a number of other officers.”

The detainee is expected to appear in court on Thursday.