Posted: Thu 26th Mar 2020

Updated: Thu 26th Mar

‘Coronavirus coughs’ at key workers will be charged as assault, CPS warns

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 26th, 2020

Anyone using coronavirus to threaten emergency and essential workers faces serious criminal charges, the Director of Public Prosecutions has warned today.

The move comes after reports in recent days of police, shop workers and vulnerable groups being deliberately coughed at by people claiming to have the disease.

“Such behaviour is illegal and assaults specifically against emergency workers are punishable by up to two years in prison.

Coughs directed as a threat at other key workers or members of the public could be charged as common assault.” The CPS has said


Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said: “Emergency workers are more essential than ever as society comes together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am therefore appalled by reports of police officers and other frontline workers being deliberately coughed at by people claiming to have Covid-19.

“Let me be very clear: this is a crime and needs to stop. The CPS stands behind emergency and essential workers and will not hesitate to prosecute anybody who threatens them as they go about their vital duties.”

Darren Rafferty, 45, yesterday admitted three counts of assaulting an emergency worker after claiming to have coronavirus and directing coughs at Metropolitan Police officers arresting him for another offence.

And David Mott, 40, was jailed yesterday after threatening to spit at police in Blackburn who had asked him what he was doing out with two others after the Prime Minister’s announcement of stricter social distancing rules on Monday night.

In January, the CPS published new guidance strengthening its approach to assaults on emergency workers after analysis revealed it had prosecuted almost 20,000 cases since the legislation first came into force in November 2018.



Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com

LATEST NEWS...

First Minister: Kitchen and domestic staff working in care homes to recieve £500 extra payment

News

Doctors’ leaders say face coverings should be worn in Wales

News

Flintshire Council chiefs welcome schools reopening in June but Wales’ Chief Medical Officer wanted to hold off until August

News

Flint Coastguard called to assist with rescue of children and adult stuck in mud on Wirral coast

News

Tributes have been pouring in for Mold based playwright, poet and novelist Sion Eirian who has died after a short illness.

News

Wales’ Transport Minister call for new Deeside railway station to be built by 2024

News

Two dogs stolen from Denbighshire reunited with owner after being found in Flintshire

Denbighshire

Changes to Flintshire Household Recycling Centres from next week

News

Shielding set to continue for 130,000 people in Wales until August 16

News