A man who deliberately coughed on three police officers as he was being cautioned for breaching the COVID-19 lockdown measures has been jailed for seven months.
33-year-old Drago Marchidan, from Birmingham, pleaded guilty at the first hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 31st March to three separate counts of assaulting an emergency worker.
He was sentenced on Tuesday 28th April at Birmingham Crown Court.
On Saturday 29th March, police officers had been tipped off about a house party that was being held in breach of social distancing rules which are designed to help save lives.
Officers attended the property and found approximately 20 adults partying at the location. They were all drinking alcohol as loud music bellowed from the address.
Police advised the occupants to leave the address, and as they started to do so, Marchidan began to deliberately cough in the direction of the police officers.
He smirked at the officers as he coughed on them.
Officers initially warned Marchidan about his behaviour to give him a chance to stop. But he ignored their pleas and continued to cough on them as he left the property.
He was then arrested for assaulting an emergency worker.
The judge sentenced Marchidan to seven months in prison for the first incident involving the coughing, and four months for the other two incidents to run concurrently.
The case follows Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC’s announcement that anyone using coronavirus to threaten emergency and essential workers would face criminal charges.
Robert Glenn, Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS West Midlands, said:
“This is unacceptable behaviour, and people who choose to assault emergency workers should know that they will not get away with it.
“Our emergency workers should be able to carry out their jobs without being assaulted or put at risk.
“Dragos Marchidan will now pay for his crime with a criminal record and custodial sentence.”
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