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Man coughed at police officer during height of pandemic, court told

PUBLISHED: 07:35 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:08 29 October 2020

A Wymondham man will stand trial next year after denying sexual assault at Norwich Crown Court Photo: Adrian Judd.

A Wymondham man will stand trial next year after denying sexual assault at Norwich Crown Court Photo: Adrian Judd.

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A man coughed at a police officer during the height of the pandemic causing the officer a great deal of anxiety, a court heard.

Danielle O’Donovan, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said that Jeffrey Sherratt, 31, coughed at the officer as he was being transported in the back of a police car.

She said the incident happened at the height of the pandemic and said it caused the officer a lot of concern.

However, she said Sherratt did not turn out to have Covid and said: “Fortunately the officer suffered no ill-effects.”

Sherratt, of Victoria Road, Great Yarmouth, had denied the offence but at a hearing on Wednesday he changed his plea and admitted assault on an emergency worker on April 20, this year.

He also admitted an unrelated matter of assault occasioning actual bodily harm between March 20 and March 24, this year.

The court heard that the pleas were acceptable to the prosecution and said the complainant in the abh case had also withdrawn her support for the prosecution

The court heard Sherratt had eight convictions for eight previous offences.

John Morgans, for Sherratt, said that at the time he was concerned about going into a police car with a police officer as it was at the height of the pandemic.

He said that Sherratt had worries about Covid and said: “He was concerned about being put in the back of a police car with a police officer sitting next to him.”

He said that Sherratt had spent some months on remand and wanted to get back to support his family.

Judge Anthony Bate jailed Sherratt for six months.

Sentencing him, Judge Bate said that at the time Sherratt had coughed at the officer it was the height of the pandemic and police officers were facing difficult working conditions, with some not have the full protective clothing which they now have all been issued with.

He said that the officers took what happened very seriously.

However he said that the officer suffered no ill-effects: “Fortunately you did not have Covid.”

He added: “Their time was wasted having to deal with you.”

He said time served on remand would mean that he would soon be released from prison.


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