Michael Aidoo, 44 and of no fixed address, appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 25 March, where he pleaded guilty to common assault.
The court heard that on the morning of Saturday, 13 February, Aidoo boarded the No. 436 bus on Queens Road in Peckham.
He refused to pay a fare and tried to walk past the driver. When challenged, Aidoo became abusive. He then pulled down his mask and spat at the driver before getting back off the bus.
Thankfully, a screen between the driver and passengers provided protection. The quick-thinking driver used a swab to collect a sample which he handed to officers at Lewisham Police Station. The DNA was found to be a direct match to that of Aidoo and he was arrested by Safer Transport Teams officers at Vauxhall Railway Station on Wednesday, 24 March.
At court, he was sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128.
Detective Sergeant Ian Beattie, of the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “This was a disgusting act against a key worker who was providing an essential service during the lockdown. To be spat is completely unacceptable and it is right that Aidoo has been given a custodial sentence to reflect the seriousness of this offence.
“Spitting is disgraceful at any time, but it is even more shocking in the middle of a pandemic. We will not tolerate such behaviour.”