UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus: Woman jailed for claiming she had COVID-19 and coughing in policeman’s face

By March 28, 2020 No Comments
The woman was jailed at Norwich Magistrates' Court

A woman has been been jailed after claiming she had the coronavirus and coughing in a policeman’s face.

Joanne Turner, 35, became abusive when officers spoke to her after she had kicked and damaged a car outside Norwich train station at around 11pm on Wednesday.

Turner, from Norwich, admitted assaulting an emergency worker at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

She also admitted being drunk and disorderly in a public place and criminal damage.

Norfolk Police said she was jailed for 12 weeks.

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Chief Superintendent Dave Marshall said: “Any abuse and threatening behaviour towards the emergency services is unacceptable at any time.

“However, this sentence reflects the seriousness of threats and acts of coughing to put others in fear of contracting COVID-19.

“This should act as a clear warning that there will be serious consequences for anyone who behaves in such a threatening way towards others during this pandemic.”

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It comes as the military could be brought in to bolster police numbers during the coronavirus crisis, with up to a fifth of officers expected to be absent in the government’s worst-case scenario.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) chairman Martin Hewitt said members of the armed forces would take up back office roles which would not involve interaction with the public in order to free up officers for frontline policing.

The body also revealed officers had already issued some fines to people breaching lockdown rules, less than 24 hours after new laws came into force.