Vile yobs jailed after claiming to have coronavirus as they coughed in police officers’ faces

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Two disgusting thugs who claimed to have Coronavirus and coughed in the face of police officers have been jailed.

Marc Punton and Daniel Taylor are behind bars after the Northumbria Police investigated the “despicable” assaults at the weekend – with neither testing positive for the virus and admitting they had made it up.

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The first happened on the evening of Friday, April 3, when officers attended a hotel in Whitley Bay to respond to a report of damage to a window.

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Northumbria Police has welcomed the custodial sentences of Marc Punton, left, and Daniel Taylor.Northumbria Police has welcomed the custodial sentences of Marc Punton, left, and Daniel Taylor.
Northumbria Police has welcomed the custodial sentences of Marc Punton, left, and Daniel Taylor.

Taylor, 34, was identified as a suspect and taken into custody where he continued to be aggressive and verbally abusive to officers and staff.

It was in the police cells that he then claimed to have coronavirus before coughing in the face of a Sergeant.

In a separate incident on the evening of Saturday, April 4, officers were on patrol in Gateshead town centre when they found Punton shouting in the street.

They asked him what he was doing out the house before he told them he was on his way to visit his ill mother.

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But when officers told him that he could be putting her at risk by making the journey he became verbally abusive.

He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly but then began to cough and spit at one of the arresting officers while claiming to have coronavirus.

Both men were charged with assault of an emergency worker and pleaded guilty when they appeared before magistrates on Monday morning.

Punton, of Affleck Street, Gateshead, was jailed for 36 weeks while Taylor, of Helena Avenue, Whitley Bay, was jailed for 26 weeks.

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They appeared at Bedlington Magistrates’ Court on Monday, where Taylor was also ordered to pay £122 in compensation and Punton was ordered to pay £250.

Chief Superintendent Neil Hutchison said: “These are despicable assaults that can cause a great deal of distress.

“The officers, staff and volunteers who proudly pull on their Northumbria Police uniform every day do it because they want to keep people safe and this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable.”

Chief Supt Hutchison added thanks to people who have given their support to the emergency services alongside acts of kindness.

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