A SHOPLIFTER who spat at a police officer and laughed as he told him "I have coronavirus" has been jailed.
Oliver Cook, 35 was arrested outside a Kent supermarket on Sunday evening after he was seen trying to steal meat.
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Staff at the Co-op in Oxford Street, Whitstable called for officers after Cook became abusive and damaged a shop display when he was spotted carrying out the theft.
But when the PCs arrived, he spat at one of them – and said he had Covid-19.
He then kicked out at another when he was arrested and loaded into the back of a police van.
He was later charged with theft, criminal damage and two counts of assaulting an emergency worker.
Cook appeared at Medway Magistrates' Court, where he admitted the charges and was jailed for 120 days.
District Commander for Canterbury and Dover, Chief Inspector Elena Hall, said: "All emergency services and our whole community, which includes our officers and staff, are working extremely hard in challenging circumstances.
"We will not tolerate attacks of this kind.
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"We will seek the prosecution of anyone who spits at or otherwise assaults any of our team, making sure the court know it is aggravated by any claims to have the coronavirus infection."
The incident comes amid a spate of disgusting attacks on frontline staff.
APPALLING ATTACKS ON NHS HEROES
NHS worker Sama Shali, 33, who works in medicine management at The Christie Hospital in Manchester was spat at twice as she walked home after a ten-hour shift.
David Mott, 40, was then jailed after he spat at a police officer after threatening to infect her with coronavirus. He also coughed at police sergeant Linda Haywood after telling him off for breaking new social distancing rules during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Drunk woman Joanne Turner, 35, was also jailed after coughing in a police officer's face and claiming she had coronavirus.
Meanwhile, a nurse in Southampton was told to "go home to China" by a gang of eight threatening youths who accosted her as she walked home from work at a hospital.
Now new emergency legislation is being pushed through parliament to cope with the coronavirus chaos.
The new laws include:
- Allowing police and Border Force officers to arrest suspected virus carriers and put them in isolation if they need to
- The law also allows for more phone and video hearings in court so cases can go ahead
- Officials will also be able to suspend all plane and ship arrivals at airports or ports or there aren’t enough staff to maintain border security
- It also enacts pension changes so retired doctors and nurses can come back into the NHS easily without their retirement cash suffering
The legislation was suggested before Britain's coronavirus death toll overtook China and Iran's official tallies today.
A further 684 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to 3,645.
Based on figures released by both countries' governments, Britain's death toll is now 319 higher than China where the outbreak started.
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