‘Despicable’: Man jailed for coughing at police officer

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A drunken thug has been handed a six-month prison sentence after he coughed in a police officer’s face and claimed he had coronavirus.

Mark Wright, 23, was spotted by two officers being abusive towards a woman on Blackett Street in Newcastle city centre on Tuesday.

When they approached and asked him to calm down, they found he was drunk and he continued to behave aggressively.

The officers asked Wright to leave the area but he turned his abuse on them and was arrested.

Body-camera footage then shows one of the PCs asking him if he had Covid-19. Wright replied “yes” and coughed in his face.

When the officer restrained him, he admitted he had lied.

Wright appeared at North Tyneside magistrates yesterday, where he admitted being drunk and disorderly and assault of an emergency worker. He was jailed for 26 weeks.

Inspector Karen Madge of Northumbria Police said: “He should not have been in the city centre and it was absolutely right that he was placed under arrest when he refused to go home.

“For him to then cough in the faces of one of our officers is despicable and completely unprovoked so I welcome the custodial sentence handed down by magistrates.

“I want to praise the professionalism of the two officers who responded to this incident who remained calm despite the barrage of abuse they faced.”

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