Landmark case sees first London jail sentence for COVID-19 related assault on a police officer

A man who coughed on a police officer and claimed that he was infected with the Coronavirus has been sentenced to six months imprisonment yesterday, 1st April 2020.

Adam Lewis aged 55 was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after being convicted of an assault on an emergency worker.

The case is believed to mark the first-ever jail sentenced in London imposed for a COVID-19 related incident involving a police officer.

The Police Constable’s attention was drawn to Lewis after a member of the public flagged him down while he was on cycle patrol in the borough of Westminster around 15:40hrs on Tuesday 31 March.

The officer was informed that Lewis had been trying the handles of car doors in the area. He subsequently approached Lewis and attempted to detain him for a search, at which point Lewis tried to resist and smashed a bottle of wine he was holding on the floor.

Lewis Adam – Source Metropolitan Police

Lewis then verbally threatened the PC, telling him: “I am covid [sic] and I am going to cough in your face and you will get it.” He then coughed on the PC, who was trying to keep him at arm’s reach, making no attempt to shield his mouth, and fell to the floor.

The officer bent down to restrain him, while holding his head away from Lewis, who attempted to cough up phlegm, before trying to spit in his face. Lewis also threatened to bite him, shortly after telling the PC that he had a bad disease and that he was going to give it to him.

After the PC called for assistance, other Met colleagues arrived and Lewis was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, and taken into custody at a central London police station, before appearing at Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 1 April.

Chief Superintendent Helen Harper, from Area West Command Unit, said: “My officers are doing everything they can to keep the public safe and police to the very best of their abilities – and we are appreciate that the vast majority of people are making every effort to comply with the measures the government has introduced.

“While these type of assaults are thankfully a rare occurrence, this incident was horrendous and if we do encounter this type of unacceptable behaviour we will be robust in our response. I hope the sentence today conveys a strong message that it will not be tolerated.”

This content was sourced from Unity News Network.


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