A man has been convicted of assaulting a police officer after coughing in his face and saying he was infected with Covid-19.
Trevor Dangerfield, 39, of Singleton Walk, Bexhill, pleaded guilty to the offence at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Saturday (18 April).
Police were called to a disturbance at a property in Carmel Heights, St Leonards at 9.45am on Friday (17 April).
Upon arrival, Dangerfield became aggressive towards officers and was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace.
The suspect then coughed in the face of an officer, saying he had Covid-19 and “wanted to infect the officer and his family.”
He was further arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, charged and remanded to court the next morning.
Dangerfield pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.
He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation and a victim surcharge of £156.
Detective Inspector Steven Shimmons said: “Our officers should not have to deal with being assaulted while carrying out their duties to protect the public.
“The fact he coughed in an officer’s face and said he has Covid-19 is awful, but to then make direct reference to infecting the officer’s family is despicable and obviously distressing.
“We hope this conviction goes to show that any such behaviour will not be tolerated.”