Coronavirus: Man jailed for police officer cough assault

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Michael GrayImage source, Met Police
Image caption,
Michael Gray pleaded guilty to assault on an emergency service worker and using threatening words or behaviour

A man who coughed at two police officers and said he hoped they would pass on coronavirus to their children has been jailed.

Michael Gray, 41, was sentenced to 19 weeks in prison after he admitted assaulting an emergency services worker in Brixton last Thursday.

Two patrol officers approached Gray as he appeared to be harassing three women, police said.

On his arrest, Gray purposely coughed towards the officers, the force added.

When the defendant's details were checked, it was found he was wanted on warrant for failing to appear at Croydon Magistrates' Court.

While in custody he threatened to spit at officers and said he hoped to infect them with Covid-19 so that they would pass it on to their children, Croydon Magistrates' Court heard.

Gray was given eight weeks for the assault on police officers, and 11 weeks for a separate drug-driving offence.

It comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, Max Hill QC, said anyone who coughed on key workers as a threat amid the coronavirus crisis would face serious criminal charges.

Supt Kris Wright, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "This attack on our officers whilst carrying out their duties... is an attack on every one of us."

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