A man who coughed in the face of one of our officers before laughing and stating that he had Covid has been jailed for a total of one year



Jamie Forbes, 43, of St Denys Close, South Killingholme, admitted committing the assault on Sunday, 6 December – for which he was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison 

The court heard how Mr Forbes had approached two plain clothes officers in Cope Street, Grimsby, asking for directions. At that point, the two officers became aware he was holding a pair of scissors and identified themselves as police officers before asking why he was carrying them.

He replied “everyone’s carrying a blade these days”, causing the officers to fear he may use them as a weapon and they placed him under arrest.

One of the officers went to give support to adjust Forbes’ seatbelt in the rear of the police car placing them in close proximity, when Forbes 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.”