Birmingham & Black Country

Coronavirus: Footage released of officers being 'coughed on'

(L-R) Bevan Burke, Anthony Evans, Thomas Wilson Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption (L-R) Bevan Burke, Anthony Evans, Thomas Wilson have all been jailed

Three men have been jailed for coughing, spitting or threatening to infect people with Covid-19, including police officers,

Footage was released by West Midlands Police to give a "firm warning" to anyone using coronavirus "as a weapon".

One man, 19-year-old Thomas Wilson, threatened to spit in a female officer's face as he was arrested.

Assistant Chief Constable Danny Long said such behaviour "won't be tolerated".

He added: "It's completely unacceptable for people to behave in this way against officers, other emergency services staff, key workers or indeed any member of the public.

"At a time of heightened concern across the whole country, a minority of people are using the threat of coronavirus as a weapon."

Wilson, of Hepworth Road, Binley, was jailed for six months at Warwick Crown Court on Monday after admitting assaulting emergency workers.

Officers arrested him on 31 March in London Road, Coventry, after he allegedly spat at a lorry driver and had an axe.

He resisted arrest and suggested he had Covid-19 symptoms before threatening to cough and spit at the officer.

Another man, Bevan Burke, was jailed after he spat at a shopkeeper who had banned him for shoplifting.

He went into Allen's Croft Post Office in Northfield, Birmingham on Friday and allegedly shouted, "I have corona… you're going to die".

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption The footage shows defendant Thomas Wilson being detained

Officers went to arrest Burke, 22, of Reservoir Close, and while being taken into custody he began coughing and blowing towards officers and again said "I've got confirmed coronavirus and now you've got it."

At Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, he admitted assaulting emergency workers and the shop keeper and was jailed for 10 months.

A third man, Anthony Evans, of no fixed address, was also jailed on Monday for four months after spitting in the face of a West Midlands Police officer in Birmingham city centre.

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