Wiltshire

Coronavirus: Chippenham man who coughed at police jailed

Byronn Plumb Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Byronn Plumb's behaviour was described as "abhorrent" by Wiltshire Chief Constable Kier Pritchard

A Chippenham man who coughed in the face of police officers while claiming he had coronavirus has been jailed for 26 weeks.

Byronn Plumb pleaded guilty to three counts of assaulting officers when he appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court by video link on Monday.

The 30-year-old, of no fixed address, coughed at police after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said he was "disgusted" by Plumb's behaviour.

Plumb also pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a police van, being drunk and disorderly in a public place and a public order offence.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Police arrested Plumb in Greenway Lane in Chippenham on Saturday

Wiltshire Police were called to Greenway Lane in Chippenham on Saturday to investigate reports of disorder.

Officers found Plumb "visibly intoxicated and being aggressive and verbally abusive". He coughed in the face of an officer whilst shouting that he had coronavirus.

Once inside the police van, Plumb continued to be aggressive and caused damage to the vehicle. He continuously spat on the floor, repeatedly banged his head against the vehicle door and bit an officer on the foot.

'Absolutely unacceptable'

While in custody a decision was made to take Plumb to the Royal United Hospital due to the self-inflicted injuries to his head. As he was being moved from his cell, he coughed multiple times at an officer, causing saliva to land on him.

Plumb again told the officer he had coronavirus and smirked.

PC James Rossiter said: "Plumb's behaviour from arrest through to charge was absolutely unacceptable. It was so disgraceful in the hospital that he was refused treatment by one nurse who was concerned for her own personal safety."

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