A man has been sentenced to 19 weeks in prison after an incident during which he threatened to spit on officers.
Michael Gray, 41 of Ingatestone Road, SE25, was sentenced at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 3 April after he pleaded guilty to assault on an emergency service worker and using threatening words or behaviour.
The incident happened at about 1.55am hours on Thursday 2 April 2020, on Upper Tulse Hill in Brixton.
Two patrolling officers saw a man who appeared to be harassing three women.
Officers approached the man and when they checked his details they found he was wanted on warrant for failing to appear at Croydon Magistrates’ Court in relation to driving whilst under the influence of drugs.
He was arrested for the warrant as well as a public order offence, after he became confrontational.
Following his arrest he intentionally coughed towards the two officers and when in custody he threatened to spit at both of them. He stated that he hoped to infect them with COVID-19 so that they would pass it on to their children.
He was subsequently charged as above and kept in custody to appear at court the next day. Gray received eight weeks for the assault on police officers, with the remaining 11 weeks of the sentence for the drug driving offence. The court also handed down a £100 fine for the public order offence.
In addition, Gray was disqualified from driving for 26 months.
Superintendent Kris Wright, of Central South Command Unit, said: “This attack on our officers whilst carrying out their duties protecting the communities of Lambeth and Southwark is an attack on every one of us. Both officers displayed the finest qualities of the Met, in spite of threats to, and the risk of COVID-19 infection through this man’s actions, and even worse his desire to cause harm to the officers’ children. I am grateful to the court that it treated this matter with the seriousness it deserves.”
“Whilst these type of assaults are thankfully rare, currently we all have a duty to do everything we can to ‘protect the protectors’. My officers are doing everything they can to keep the public safe and police to the very best of their abilities, and we are grateful that the vast majority of people are making every effort to comply with the measures the government has introduced.”