Man jailed for coronavirus cough against police officer

Gray threatened to spit on two officers

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

A man has been jailed for 19 weeks after he coughed and threatened to spit on two police officers, saying he hoped they got coronavirus and passed it onto their children.

Michael Gray was sentenced at Croydon Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to assault on an emergency service worker and using threatening words or behaviour.

The incident, which occurred in Brixton last Thursday, saw Gray intentionally cough at two patrolling Metropolitan Police officers, who had approached him as he appeared to be harassing three women.

After checking his details, they found he was wanted on warrant for failing to appear at court in relation to a drug driving offence.

The 41-year-old was arrested for the warrant as well as a public order offence when he became confrontational.

Upon his arrest, Gray intentionally coughed towards the two officers and, once he was in custody, threatened to spit at both of them.

He stated that he hoped to infect them with COVID-19 so that they would pass it on to their children.

The defendant was charged and kept in custody. He appeared at court the next day, where he was handed eight weeks for the assault on police officers and 11 weeks for the drug driving offence, as well as a £100 fine for the public order offence.

Gray was also disqualified from driving for 26 months.

Scotland Yard’s Superintendent Kris Wright said today that the attack was “an attack on every one of us”.

“Both officers displayed the finest qualities of the Met, in spite of threats to, and the risk of Covid-19 infection through this man’s actions, and even worse his desire to cause harm to the officers’ children.

“I am grateful to the court that it treated this matter with the seriousness it deserves.”

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