Coronavirus: Bexhill man spared jail after coughing at police saying he “wants to infect his family”

A man has been convicted of assaulting a police officer after coughing in his face and saying he was infected with Covid-19.

Officers said Trevor Dangerfield, of Singleton Walk, Bexhill, admitted to the offence at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Saturday (April, 18).

It follows reports of a disturbance at a property in Carmel Heights, St Leonards, just before 10am on Friday (April, 17).

Police said the 39-year-old was arrested at the address, after he became aggressive towards officers.

Dangerfield then reportedly coughed in the face of an officer, saying he had coronavirus and “wanted to infect the officer and his family.”

He was further arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, charged and remanded to court the next morning, according to officers.

Dangerfield was sentenced to more than four months in prison, suspended for one year.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation and a victim surcharge of £156.

DI Steven Shimmons said:

“Our officers should not have to deal with being assaulted while carrying out their duties to protect the public.

“The fact he coughed in an officer’s face and said he has Covid-19 is awful, but to then make direct reference to infecting the officer’s family is despicable and obviously distressing.

“We hope this conviction goes to show that any such behaviour will not be tolerated.”

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