Coronavirus criminals named and shamed: CPS name men convicted over virus

10 April 2020, 08:39 | Updated: 10 April 2020, 09:45

Bevan Burke and Stephen Mackie
Bevan Burke and Stephen Mackie. Picture: West Midlands Police / Greater Manchester Police

By Adrian Sherling

The thugs who have coughed at emergency workers during the coronavirus crisis have been named and shamed by the Crown Prosecution Service.

These are the people who have been convicted of assault for coughing at police officers or exploited coronavirus for their own gain.

Spitting at emergency workers

Bevan Burke
Was arrested for breaching the terms of his licence and in the process, coughed at police officers telling them he hoped they died from the virus. He has been sentenced to 42 weeks in prison for two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and assault by beating.

Tony Brash
Purposely coughed on six police officers who were processing his arrest for an earlier incident when he was abusive to a shopkeeper. He pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker and was given a 12-week suspended sentence.

Scott Crook and Stewart Motley
Stole £32.91 from an Alzheimer’s charity box. Motley responded to the officer trying to arrest him by coughing directly in his face. They have been sentenced to a collective 44 weeks in prison as a result.

Wesley Upton
Arrested for breaching a criminal order, he spat at police telling them he was infected with coronavirus and hoped that everyone around him would be infected. He admitted his actions and was sentenced to six months in prison.

Patrick Delaney
Spat at employees in a Lidl in Warrington before spitting on police who responded. He pleaded guilty to the assault and has been jailed for 22 weeks.

People exploiting coronavirus

Ashaq Sattar
Knocked on the doors of elderly and vulnerable people in Kirklees, pretending that he was an NHS volunteer and would collect their medicine for a small fee. He pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and was sentenced to 52 weeks in prison.

Steven Mackie
Kept approaching people stood in a queue to get into a Tesco in Stalybridge. Despite police taking him home, 15 minutes later he returned to the same shop and was causing a nuisance. Mackie was given a £500 fine for breaching the restrictions on movement.

Jason Harewood
Pleaded guilty to contravening the requirement as to the restriction of movement during the emergency period and drug related offences, after he was caught distributing drugs on his pedal bike in Islington with no reason to be outside.

Kierran Stevenson
Given a 12-week prison sentence after he posted on social media that he was going to go walk around a hospital in Aylesbury to see the extent of the coronavirus pandemic for himself. He then posted photos on Facebook at the hospital and images of hospital corridors and commented that staff were not taking safety measures seriously.

Max Hill QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "Although this is only a small sample of the cases that we have prosecuted over the last week, it clearly demonstrates the number of people who are determined to break the law in the most critical of times.

"It is disappointing to see charges come in on a daily basis of hard-working police officers, NHS staff and other vital workers, being coughed or spat at, sometimes deliberately exposing them to the risk of infecting them with coronavirus.

"We take these offences immensely seriously and want to make it absolutely clear- that where there is evidence to do so, people will be prosecuted and can face up to one year in prison.

"We recently launched our interim charging protocol where we set out that any offending related to coronavirus will be treated as the highest priority, and we will not hesitate to bring offenders to justice."