Worthing man jailed for spitting at police officer and claiming to have Covid-19

A man from Worthing has been jailed for 26 weeks after he spat at a police officer in the town and claimed to be infected with Covid-19.

Simon Rogers-Davis, 29, of Brighton Road, admitted to assaulting an emergency worker, affray and racially aggravated harassment when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court last Friday (May, 1).

It follows the incident at The Wolsey Hotel in Brighton Road last Wednesday (April, 29), following a report a resident was damaging property and throwing food around.

Officers attended and arrested Rogers-Davis, who told them he was suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.

Police said he told an officer it has ‘all happened because you’re Chinese’, before pretending to sneeze, spitting at the officer and making further racially abusive comments.

Rogers-Davis was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment for assaulting an emergency worker, along with four weeks imprisonment for affray and eight weeks for racially aggravated harassment, to be served concurrently.

The victim, who does not wish to be named, said:

“When I turn up to work I do not expect to be assaulted or racially abused while carrying out my duties as a police officer. 

“I definitely do not expect to be spat at during the current climate of Covid-19.

“This was an anxiety provoking experience and was totally unnecessary.

“This potentially could not just have had an effect on me, but also put my colleagues and family at risk.”

Sergeant Peter Allan, of Adur and Worthing Prevention, said:

“I am pleased the court took these offences seriously, because of the flagrant disregard to one of our officers and the vile and personal racist abuse.

“I hope this result sends a strong message to those who seek to exploit public fear, to make personal attacks on those members of the emergency services who are working are hard to protect the community, of which they are members too.”

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