Man who spat at police and claimed he had virus is jailed

ipswich crown court

Ipswich Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

An alcoholic with 157 previous convictions who said he had Covid-19 after spitting at police officers has been jailed for 14 months.

Sentencing 38-year-old Daniel Palmer, Recorder Graham Huston said that spitting at police officers, especially in the context of him claiming he had coronavirus, would not be tolerated.

He said the police officers and their families would have been caused anxiety by his actions.

Palmer, of no fixed address, admitted two offences of breaching a criminal behaviour order,  three offences of assaulting an emergency worker and two public order offences.

Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, told Ipswich Crown Court that Palmer had 157 previous convictions and had been made the subject of a criminal behaviour order (CBO) in 2019 after previously been given an Anti Social  Behaviour Order (ASBO).

Under the terms of the CBO he was banned from being drunk in public and drinking in public.

He was also banned from going to West Suffolk Hospital unless it was necessary.

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On February 20 police were called to Home Farm Lane in Bury St Edmunds where Palmer was acting aggressively towards ambulance staff and trying to damage equipment.

He was clearly drunk and when he was arrested he spat at two police officers one on the arm and stab vest and the other on the side of the head.

The following day Palmer went to West Suffolk Hospital and was escorted off the premises by security staff.

He had returned to the hospital a couple of hours later and was verbally abusive to security staff and refused to leave.

At one stage he said: “Do you want the knife?” while teaching into his jacket pocket.

The police were called and Palmer spat at an officer’s neck and  later said: “For the record I got a positive Covid test yesterday and now you’ve got it.”

John Morgans, for Palmer, said his client was a long term alcoholic who needed to get a grip of his drink problem if he was to stop committing offences.

He said Palmer had managed to stay sober for five months before the relapse which had brought him back before the court.

He asked the court to give Palmer credit for the efforts he’d made and said it would have been remarkable if there hadn’t been a “blip” along the way.