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Man who claimed to have Covid-19 spat at police officer, court hears

PUBLISHED: 13:50 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:57 26 August 2020

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A man who claimed he might have coronavirus deliberately spat at an officer after becoming aggressive when police attended the scene of a crash, a court heard.

Dean Whitehand, 54, who had crashed into a wooden bollard, told officers he thought he might have Covid-19 as he’d been coughing for the past few days, Norwich Magistrates Court heard.

Eleanor Sheerin, prosecuting, said he became aggressive and started swearing as he was taken to the police van.

She said as he was being put in the van he kicked out and then spat in the direction of an officer.

Ms Sheerin said when Whitehand was taken to the custody suite, he then denied he had Covid-19. He also failed to provide a specimen as requested.

Whitehand, of Station Road, Pulham St Mary, near Diss, admitted assaulting an emergency worker on April 19 this year and failing to provide a specimen on the same date.

He also admitted a number of thefts from shops including, a bottle of cider from Pulham St Mary Post Office worth £2.50, on October 27 last year.

Other offences included stealing alcohol and food worth £121 from the Co-op store, in Harleston, on January 15 this year, six bottles of Jack Daniels worth £150 from Morrisons, in Beccles, on March 19 last year and a pair of sunglasses worth £170 from John Lewis in Norwich on February 15 last year.

The court heard Whitehand had 53 convictions for 101 offences and was also in breach of a suspended sentence order.

He was jailed for 148 days. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £2.50 to the post office and £121 to the Co-op store.

Simon Nicholls, for Whitehand, said he realised he was going to go to prison.

He said neither the kick nor the spit made contact with the officer, adding that Whitehead had health issues. He said he had been struggling to cope with the death of his mother and father as they were a close-knit family.

Up until the death of his parents he had managed to keep out of trouble for six years, Mr Nicholls said, but the loss led him back into crime.


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