Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, a man who coughed at a police officer in the United Kingdom and threatened to infect him with coronavirus has been sentenced to six months in jail. According to reports, the incident occurred on April 1 and the man was sentenced under a law that was introduced in 2018 and deals with assault against emergency workers.
According to reports, Adam Lewis, 55, was stopped by officers when he was seen trying door handles of cars in central London on March 31. After being stopped, Lewis allegedly turned violent and smashed a bottle of wine he was carrying on the floor. Then the accused proceeded to verbally threaten the police officers by admitting that he was COVID-19 positive and that he would cough on the officers.
According to reports, London's Metropolitan Police in a statement have said that Lewis in addition to coughing on the police officer tried to spit on the officers, as well as bite them. Lewis was promptly arrested and appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on April 1.
In a similar incident, a woman in Norwich, England has been jailed for 12 weeks after she deliberately coughed on an officer’s face. During the act, the woman claimed that she has been tested positive for coronavirus. According to reports, Joanne Turner, 35, became abusive and argumentative when she was confronted by officers for kicking and damaging a car parked outside the Norwich train station.
As per reports, the incident took place on March 25 and on March 26 Turner plead guilty in court to assaulting an officer. Turner also admitted to being drunk and disorderly during the exchange. For her actions, she was jailed for 12 weeks. According to reports, Chief Superintendent Dave Marshall has claimed that assaulting emergency workers at any time is a serious offence but the 12-week sentence handed out to Turner is a reflection of the seriousness of the threat posed by the coronavirus and the threats or action of deliberately coughing in someone’s direction.
Marshall further added that hopefully, this harsh sentence serves as a clear warning to anyone that chooses to behave in this manner during a crisis.