Manchester

Coronavirus: Man jailed for spitting blood at police in Withington

Samuel Konneh Image copyright GMP
Image caption Samuel Konneh pleaded guilty to four counts of assault on emergency workers

A man who spat blood in the face of police officers while shouting that he had coronavirus has been jailed for two years.

Samuel Konneh spat at the officers three days after the UK went into lockdown, Manchester Crown Court heard.

One of the officers felt droplets fall into his mouth, forcing him to isolate from his family over coronavirus fears.

Police had been called to Konneh's home after he had started stalking a friend who had rebuffed his advances.

The court heard Konneh, 39, was stood behind the door as police broke it down, causing an injury to his mouth.

He then popped his head through the gap and spat at the officers.

'Drinking to excess'

Father-of-two Konneh, originally form Sierra Leone, pleaded guilty to four counts of assault on emergency workers and one count of stalking at an earlier hearing.

Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, told the court how Konneh, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, had become obsessed with a friend.

He approached her in the street and tried to grab her phone but a woman and a neighbour intervened before Konneh ran home.

Mr Mackintosh said when officers arrived Konneh was shouting from the upstairs window, "saying he had the virus and started to cough in an exaggerated manner".

He added: "Suddenly the door opened a short distance and the defendant appeared. The defendant then spat at the officers, covering them with blood and spit."

Adam Brown, defending, said Konneh's mental illness meant he "misread the signals" from the woman he was obsessed with.

Konneh had been drinking to excess and not taking his anti-psychotic medication at the time, but now showed "genuine remorse", Mr Brown added.

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