Man admits 'coronavirus coughing' over police during arrest

25 March 2020, 20:41

The man coughed over police officers
The man coughed over police officers. Picture: Getty

By Maddie Goodfellow

A man has admitted claiming to have coronavirus and coughing over police officers while he was being arrested.

Darren Rafferty, 45, of Dagenham, east London, pled guilty in court on Wednesday after being charged with grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault on an emergency worker.

Scotland Yard said officers were called to reports of an assault on Gainsborough Road, Dagenham, on Monday.

Three officers, Pc Laver, Pc Richardson and Pc Andrews, attended the scene.

There they found an injured woman and a knife. The woman, an ex-girlfriend of Rafferty, was taken to hospital for treatment.

The Metropolitan Police said that, during Rafferty's arrest, "he coughed on all three officers and stated that he was suffering from coronavirus".

Prosecutor Ciro D’Alessio said that Rafferty had been drinking and went to visit his ex at her home.

However, the court heard that things became agitated and she was hit while she walking down some stairs.

The court also heard that her leg had been stamped, leaving her with a fractured knee.

She was slashed with a knife, leaving her with a 6cm cut, Mr D'Alessio said.

He continued: “The defendant makes comments about being in isolation and having coronavirus and then deliberately coughs towards the officers.”

Mr D’Alessio also said: “On any reading of the assault you either get someone threatening to give someone a communicable disease or you have someone trying to give it to them.”

However, Rafferty was later tested for the virus and police say they “do not have concerns”.

Rafferty will be sentenced on April 1.