A Portsmouth man has been jailed for four months after he deliberately coughed in the face of a fellow shopper in Portsmouth.
Officers from Hampshire Constabulary arrested Gary Phillip Saunders after the incident in ‘Cornucopia’ in Osborne Road, Southsea on Tuesday 14th April.
60-year-old Gary Saunders had entered the store at around 18:00 hours and was stood in the queue around two metres behind his victim, who was being served at the till.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how Saunders then stepped closer to his victim who then asked him to step back.
However, Saunders then became abusive towards the man and threatened him by ‘deliberately aiming’ an ‘exaggerated cough’ at his face.
Saunders, of Osborne Road, Southsea, pleaded guilty to common assault and was jailed for four months.
PC Mark Pilsworth, of the Southsea Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
“Coughing in anyone’s face is disgusting, but to weaponise coughing at a time like this is thoroughly despicable and will not be tolerated.
“Saunders’ actions caused unnecessary concern for his victim, when he had simply been asked to ensure he was not getting to close.
“I hope this sentence serves as a warning to everyone that we will take action if you choose to behave in this manner.”
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