Man given suspended prison term after threatening to give coronavirus to police officer
A NEW Milton man threatened to give coronavirus to a police officer after damaging a woman’s windows during the lockdown, a court heard.
Adam Bray (32), of Barton Court Road, was handed an 18-week prison term, suspended for two years, after allegedly using Covid-19 as a threat and making homophobic remarks during the incident.
Bray admitted he damaged the windows at a house in New Milton on 4th April, when he appeared before Southampton magistrates.
He further pleaded guilty to using threatening, insulting words or behaviour towards PC Ford and DO Rees at Southampton Central Police Station on the same day.
Sentencing, the Bench said: “The offence was aggravated by homophobic words and threats of spreading Covid to an officer going about their duties.”
Bray was ordered by the court not to go to an address in New Milton for a year. He must also wear an electronic ankle tag to monitor his movements. He must also be at home by midnight every day for the duration of that order.
The defendant was told to pay £200 compensation to each officer and £207 court costs.
The incident followed campaigns by emergency services around the country against “unacceptable” abuse and assaults against workers.
In Dorset, Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “Coughing and sneezing at officers is particularly abhorrent during the public health emergency we are all facing.
“We will not tolerate assaults on our officers, our emergency services colleagues or key workers. Offenders will be dealt with robustly and we will bring criminal proceedings against those responsible.
“Working with partners, Dorset Police is raising awareness of the risks officers, emergency services colleagues and essential key workers are taking to keep communities running. Any form of assault against emergency service staff or key workers will be dealt with swiftly.”