Man coughed in police officer’s face while claiming to have Covid-19

A man has been convicted of assaulting a police officer after coughing in his face and saying he was infected with Covid-19, police have confirmed.

Trevor Dangerfield, 39, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the offence at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Saturday (April 18).

A police spokesman said officers were called to a disturbance at a property in Carmel Heights, St Leonards, at 9.45am, on Friday (April 17).

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Upon arrival, Dangerfield became aggressive towards officers, according to police, and was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace.

Police

The suspect then coughed in the face of an officer, saying he had Covid-19 and ‘wanted to infect the officer and his family’, a police spokesman added.

He was further arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, charged and remanded to court the next morning.

According to police, 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.”