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Man who coughed on police officers claiming he had Covid is jailed

PUBLISHED: 11:42 14 August 2020

A man who coughed on police officers as they arrested him, claiming he had Covid, has been jailed for over a year. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A man who coughed on police officers as they arrested him, claiming he had Covid, has been jailed for over a year. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A man has been jailed for over a year after coughing on police officers while he was arrested for being in possession of drugs.

Luke Smith, 27, of Windsor Road, West Mersea, was detained in late March when officers were called to a disturbance at an address in Catchpool Road, Colchester.

After being detained and found to be in possession of cannabis, Smith was arrested, at which point he began to cough on two officers, shouting he had coronavirus.

It was unknown at the time whether he was telling the truth or not.

Later, during his interview, he said he had only done it because he thought it would mean the officers would release him from custody.

On Tuesday, August 11, Smith appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court after entering a guilty plea to two counts of assault on an emergency worker, criminal damage, breach of harassment order and possession of a Class B drug.

He was sentenced to 16 months in jail.

DS Matthew Alexander said “Covid-19 has caused a lot of harm and families have lost loved ones. For it to be used as a weapon and a threat towards police officers is deplorable.

“Threats such as these will not deter us, the officers involved have since continued to help protect those who live, work or visit Essex.

“We will take swift action against anyone looking to assault our officers whilst they work to protect our communities and maintain a visible police presence”.


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