A 43-year-old man from a North Lincolnshire village was jailed for coughing in the face of a police officer before laughing and stating that he had coronavirus.
Jamie Forbes, of St Denys Close in South Killingholme, admitted committing the assault which happened on Sunday, December 6. He was jailed for 10 weeks for assaulting the officer.
He was also sentenced to 26 weeks consecutive for possessing a bladed article in a public place and for 16 weeks for being in breach of a suspended sentence order for burglary.
This means Forbes was sentenced to a total of one year in prison.
He appeared at Grimsby Crown Court on Friday, January 8 where it was heard how he approached two plain clothes officers in Cope Street in Grimsby to ask for directions.
The two officers then became aware that he was holding a pair of scissors. They identified themselves as police officers before asking why he was carrying the scissors.
Forbes replied saying “everyone’s carrying a blade these days,” causing the officers to fear that he may use them as a weapon, so he was placed under arrest.
One of the officers went to give support to adjust Forbes’ seatbelt in the rear of the police car. He then coughed in the officer’s face saying “covid”.
Chief Constable Lee Freeman said: “I find it unbelievable that during these worrying and unprecedented times that some people choose to behave in this way towards police officers who are simply doing their job to protect the public.
“Sadly, this is something that all forces across the country are increasingly experiencing.
“Spitting or coughing at someone at any time is completely unacceptable and the added risks associated with the spread of COVID-19 only serve to compound that.
“I want to make it clear that any assault of this kind on anyone will not be tolerated. That includes our officers, staff and other emergency workers who by the nature of their work, expose themselves to increased risks every day to ensure the public are kept safe.
“We will never tolerate the actions of anyone who thinks this type of behaviour is acceptable and will always look to take action and seek prosecution for those individuals who commit such offences.”