Glasgow & West Scotland

Footballer sentenced for coronavirus cough threat to police officers

James Hurst Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption James Hurst previously played for West Bromwich Albion and Wrexham

A footballer who coughed at police officers after claiming he had coronavirus has been given a community sentence.

James Hurst, 28, also shouted anti-Scottish abuse after being told there was an outstanding speeding warrant out on him.

The former West Bromwich Albion and Wrexham defender then coughed at officers as they tried to handcuff him.

Hurst was ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.

He admitted acting in a threatening and abusive manner in the garden of his partner's home in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in April.

The court was told the former England youth international initially contacted the police claiming to be the victim of domestic abuse.

Anti-Scottish abuse

After his arrest he told officers: "I've got Covid, I'm going to cough and spit all over you."

Prosecutor Mark Allan said: "At that point he began to cough in the faces of both officers as they were placing handcuffs on him.

Hurst also used a derogatory term to describe a female police officer.

Mr Allan added: "He said he is from the Queen's country and all Scottish are slaves to him."

Hurst repeatedly threatened to spit on the officers and continued to hurl abuse.

He said: "You are not the law, you are civilians in uniform, Queen's country rules, you live in Scottish slums, I am superior."

Linda Findlay, defending, told the court Hurst was ashamed of his actions.

She said: "He is under no illusions that his conduct was terrible and accepted all along that it was regrettable."

In January non-league Hednesford Town confirmed Hurst had left the club after requesting the cancellation of his contract to move to Scotland.