Man jailed for Covid-19 racial abuse of council worker

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image copyrightAvon and Somerset Police
image captionBristol magistrates sentenced Marcus Spiteri to 29 weeks for racial abuse and injuring a police officer

A man who accused a city council worker of bringing coronavirus to the country has been jailed for racial abuse.

Bristol magistrates heard Marcus Spiteri, 35, of no fixed address, became abusive after being told to leave council offices on 20 March.

As he left the premises he accused a member of staff who he thought to be Chinese of bringing Covid-19 to the UK and told him to "go home", police said.

He was sentenced by the court to 29 weeks in jail on Friday.

Spiteri admitted the racially aggravated public order offence and actual bodily harm against a police officer who later tried to arrest him.

He was ordered to serve eight weeks for the abuse and 21 weeks for injuring the police officer, to run consecutively.

"Following an investigation, officers attended a hotel in Bristol city centre on Thursday 2 April to arrest Spiteri for this offence, as well as in connection with a recall to prison," a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said.

"Spiteri ran out of his hotel room and shut an officer's hand in the door, causing tissue damage and a fracture."

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