Notorious Portsmouth nuisance Gary Saunders is jailed for coughing in a shopper's face during check-out row
A NOTORIOUS yob has been jailed for four months after he coughed in the face of a shopper in Portsmouth.
Disgusting Gary Saunders was arrested after the incident in Cornucopia in Osborne Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, April 14.
The 60-year-old entered the store at around 6pm, initially queuing two metres behind his victim, who was being served at the till.
However, Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard Saunders then stepped closer, with the man in front of him asking him to move back again.
It was heard Saunders became abusive towards the man, threatening him before deliberately aiming an exaggerated cough at his face.
Saunders, of Osborne Road, Southsea, pleaded guilty to common assault and was jailed.
PC Mark Pilsworth, of the Southsea neighbourhood policing team, said: ‘Coughing in anyone’s face is disgusting, but to weaponise coughing at a time like this is thoroughly despicable and will not be tolerated.
‘Saunders’ actions caused unnecessary concern for his victim, when he had simply been asked to ensure he was not getting to close.
‘I hope this sentence serves as a warning to everyone that we will take action if you choose to behave in this manner.’
Shops across the UK are enforcing a two-metre social distancing rule in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
A number of police forces, including Hampshire Constabulary, have set up specific pages for reporting people for breaking the new measures.
To report breaches, visit Hampshire police’s website.