Dorchester-upon-Thames man jailed for coughing in officer's face

image source, Steve Daniels
image captionAlex Wood pleaded guilty to the charges at Oxford Magistrates' Court

A man who coughed in the face of a police officer arresting him for assaulting a woman has been jailed.

Police said they were called to an address in Wantage on 24 March to reports a woman had been attacked.

Alex Wood, 37, was arrested at the scene and deliberately coughed in the face of an officer.

Wood, of Bridge End, Dorchester-upon-Thames, Oxfordshire, admitted the assaults at Oxford Magistrates' Court and was jailed for 22 weeks.

The police officer was wearing a protective face mask at the time.

When Wood was asked why he had coughed in his face, he replied that a mask would not stop anything, Thames Valley Police said.

He assaulted the woman in her 30s by grabbing her by the chest and hitting her on the head with a can, police said.

'Absolutely abhorrent'

Ch Insp Matt Bullivant, said: "Wood made this deliberate act, seemingly trying to threaten an officer with potentially contracting something from him.

"This is obviously totally inappropriate behaviour at any time, but particularly at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic."

Craig O'Leary, chairman of Thames Valley Police Federation, said: "Coughing on an officer deliberately in the current climate is completely unacceptable."

He called Wood's actions "absolutely abhorrent" but said such incidents were "very rare".

Wood also pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal damage.

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