Scarborough man sent to prison for coronavirus-related threats to spit and cough at three police officers

16 April 2020

A man from Scarborough, who stated he was infected with the COVID-19 virus, has been sent to prison for six months for threatening to cough and spit at three North Yorkshire Police officers.

36-year-old Gary Stephen Stringer of Blueberry Way, Scarborough appeared at York Magistrates Court on Saturday 11 April 2020 and pleaded guilty to three charges of assaulting an emergency worker.

Stringer was arrested in the early hours of Thursday 9 April 2020. As officers were attempting to detain him, Stringer stated he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 at Scarborough Hospital only days before and threatened to cough and spit at two of the officers.

When taken into custody at Scarborough police station, Stringer continued to make threats towards another officer who was attempting to interview him, stating he had COVID-19.

He was charged with three counts of assaulting an emergency worker and was sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Speaking about the sentence, Scarborough Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Graeme Kynman said:

At a time of national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic when the risk of infection remains high, to threaten or attempt to spit and cough at an officer who is trying to do his or her job is both shocking and appalling.

Police will not tolerate this behaviour and anyone suspected of committing such a crime against a police officer, or any fellow emergency worker, can expect to face prosecution.

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