‘Despicable and appalling’: Man, 48, who spat at police officers while claiming he had coronavirus symptoms is jailed for a year
- Paul Leivers, 48, admitted two counts of assault on an emergency worker
- He was arrested in Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire, on Thursday
- Leivers appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court on Saturday
- Court heard Leivers did not have coronavirus or any symptoms of the disease
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Paul Leivers, 48, has been jailed for a year after spitting at police officers while claiming he had coronavirus symptoms
A ‘despicable and disgraceful’ man who spat at police officers and claimed he had coronavirus symptoms has been jailed for a year.
Paul Leivers, 48, admitted two counts of assault on an emergency worker after being arrested in Mansfield on Thursday.
Nottinghamshire Police said Leivers, of Tideswell Court, Mansfield, spat at custody officers.
He appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday in front of District Judge Leo Pyle.
The court heard Leivers did not have coronavirus or any symptoms of the disease.
Sentencing the defendant, District Judge Pyle said: ‘It was in the public interest to deal with the matter sooner rather than later.
‘These are two distinct acts and it was appalling behaviour, these offences were deliberate and pre-mediated.
‘Emergency workers have a difficult job at the best of time, even more so at the minute and the court will not flinch to protect officers.’
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: ‘This sentence sends out a very powerful and clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated in any shape or form and especially not now in the current climate.
‘In these worrying times for us all, having someone spitting at front line officers threatening them with coronavirus is both despicable and appalling.
Leivers admitted two counts of assault on an emergency worker after being arrested in Mansfield on Thursday. He appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday in front of District Judge Leo Pyle
‘Our officers are putting their duty to the public ahead of their own welfare at this current time. They put themselves at risk every single to day in order to protect our communities – they should not and will not have to put up with this.
‘I want to thank the judge for making an example of this situation which I know will send a message loud and clear not just here in Nottinghamshire but across the country.’
Chief Constable Craig Guildford added: ‘This is the exact reassurance our officers need – that this will not be tolerated and new powers we now have means swift action will be taken to deal with those that choose to offend in this way.
‘Despicable, thoughtless and disgraceful acts such as this will not go unpunished.’
The force said the officers who were spat at are safe and well.
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