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Coronavirus: Man who spat on police while claiming he had COVID-19 is jailed

A 23-year-old man who spat at police in Lancashire while claiming he had coronavirus has been jailed for a year.

Callum Heaton was arrested for being drunk and disorderly after police were called to a report of a disturbance in Burnley early on March 28.

Lancashire Police said Heaton spat at two officers during the arrest on Cog Lane, while saying he had caught COVID-19.

He continued this behaviour as he was taken into custody.

Heaton appeared before Burnley Magistrates’ Court on 30 March and pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on an emergency worker and one of criminal damage.


He was jailed for a total of 12 months.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary called the offence “particularly offensive and dangerous”.

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“It is totally unacceptable that police and other frontline workers who are doing their best to keep our communities safe are treated like this,” they said.

Heaton is not the only one to have deliberately spat or coughed on others during the pandemic.

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Police across the country are clamping down on the crime.

On separate occasions, NHS staff have been coughed at on purpose, a pensioner was spat on by a teenager, a man was accused of spitting blood in police officer’s faces and another allegedly coughed on an officer while claiming he had coronavirus.

People who claim to have coronavirus and cough towards police officers and other emergency workers can be charged with assault, in new emergency powers to protect frontline workers.


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