Man who claimed he had Covid-19 and spat at Hampshire police officer jailed
A MAN who claimed to be infected with Covid-19 before spitting at a police officer in Farnborough has been jailed six months.
Jason Porter appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court yesterday and was sentenced to six months behind bars for the spitting assault and a racially aggravated assault/racially aggravated public order offence.
He was also ordered to pay compensation.
PC Stan Howe attended a concern for welfare call at a property in Farnborough on Wednesday, April 1 when Porter – who was at the time self-isolating because of Covid-19 - spat at the officer and claimed he was infected with the virus.
As a result of the attack, PC Howe was forced to self-isolate for two weeks, with his wife Lisa, an NHS staff member, taking to social media to defend her ‘hero’ husband.
She posted: ‘Last night a Hampshire officer was spat on by someone who was self-isolating.
‘Some will say “well, this is a hazard of the job”…. to us this police officer is a hero, husband, daddy, brother, uncle and this is totally unacceptable.’
The incident did not cause PC Howe to contract the virus – but anyone spitting at emergency services staff should be sent to jail, according to Hampshire Police Federation Chairman, Alex Charge.
He said: ‘This case shows the wider harm caused to society by people who assault emergency service workers.
‘There needs to be a clear message; if you behave like this, then you go to prison.
‘Anyone who spits at or threatens Covid-19 infection to police officers needs to be sent to prison.’
It comes as Hampshire police said there had been a spike in criminals spitting at them.
Hampshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton said the attack was ‘weaponising’ the virus and had forced a dedicated officer to remove himself from the frontline.
He said: ‘In any situation, spitting is vile behaviour, but I am even more appalled and disgusted that it is now being used as a weapon by people in these extremely challenging times.
‘I hope this outcome serves as a warning to anyone who behaves in this unacceptable manner – you will be arrested, and you will face the consequences of your actions.’
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