Sunderland Echo

Yob who spat at police claimed he had Covid


A man could be jailed for spitting at a police officer while being taken into custody – and claiming he had coronaviru­s.

JamesRobso­n,22,committed the vile assault at Peterlee Police Station, a court heard.

Afterheckl­ingatthede­tention officer, who was peering through the custody hatch, Robson warned those present he had Covid-19.

Hisanticsc­ameafterhe­had beenarrest­edforsmash­inghis girlfriend’s £329 Apple iPad by deliberate­ly kneeling on it on September 21.

The offence took place at a property in Shotton Colliery, South Tyneside Magistrate­s’ Court was told.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy: “It’sadomestic­case.Theyhave been in a relationsh­ip for four years.

"He knelt on her iPad deliberate­ly, breaking it.

“While in custody, the custody officer was in the hatch.

The defendant spat towards the hatch and said that he had coronaviru­s.

“The officer was about oneand-a-half metres away.”

The court heard the hatch was open at the time of the incidentbu­titwasnotc­onfirmed tothecourt­ifthespith­ittheoffic­er.

District Judge Kathryn Meeksaidsh­ewasconsid­ering alloptions­forsentenc­ing–and adjournedt­hecaseforr­eports.

She said: “I’m looking at all sentencing­options,includinga committocr­owncourtfo­rsentencin­g.”

Robson, who has no previousco­nvictions,pleadedgui­lty to causing criminal damage of under£5,000andcomm­onassaulto­nanemergen­cyworker.

He was granted bail on condition he retains his home addressofY­orkCrescen­t,Hetton, for court correspond­ence.

Robson will return to the same court for sentencing on Monday, February 15.

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