A Tunbridge Wells man has been charged following allegations he deliberately coughed into the face of a police officer.
The incident is reported to have happened on Sunday 5 April 2020 after the suspect attended Tonbridge police station in relation to another matter and was being asked health questions to check for any possible Covid-19 symptoms.
Darren Turpin, aged 51, of Crendon Park, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, was arrested and charged with assaulting an emergency worker. He appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 7 April and pleaded not guilty. Magistrates remanded him in custody, pending a next hearing at the same court on 15 April.
The Assaults on Emergency Workers Act came into force in November 2018 and created a new offence of assault against emergency workers – including police, paramedics, nurses and other blue light workers. It also provides tougher sentencing powers for judges.