A man who claimed he had coronavirus (Covid-19) has been jailed after breathing heavily in the face of a police officer who had arrested him.
Russell Fletcher, 26, was arrested in Oldfield Road, Thorne, following reports that he was under the influence of alcohol and causing a disturbance in the street.
Police say that as he was being transported to custody, Fletcher claimed he was suffering from Covid-19 and breathed heavily in the face of the arresting officer.
Following the incident, which occurred just after midnight on Sunday 5 April, Fletcher was charged with common assault of an emergency worker, attempted criminal damage to property, and being drunk and disorderly in a public place.
A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said the officer was unharmed.
Fletcher, of Finkle Street, Stainforth, appeared at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on Monday (6 April) and was given a 12-week custodial sentence and fined £250.
Chief Inspector for Doncaster Sharon Hancock said: “Over the last weeks, our officers have made incredible personal sacrifices to ensure they can continue to protect the public they serve. The support they have received from the majority of the public has been much appreciated.
“My message to those who think that they can use this current crisis to intimidate my officers is this – your behaviour will not be tolerated and you will feel the full force of the law. Now is a time for us all to work together, stay at home and protect all of our key workers.”
Fletcher is the fourth person to be imprisoned following a COVID-19 related assault on a police officer.