Man jailed for assaulting police officers
A man has been jailed for seven months after he deliberately coughed on three police officers as he was being cautioned for breaching COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Dragos Marchidan, 33, of Birmingham, pleaded guilty at the first hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 31 March to three counts of assault on an emergency worker. He was sentenced today (Tuesday 28 April) at Birmingham Crown Court.
On Saturday, 29 March 2020, officers were called to an address in Tyseley following reports of a party being held in breach of the social distancing rules. Police officers attended the property to find approximately 20 adults having a gathering involving loud music and alcohol.
Police advised participants to leave the address and as the group started to leave, the defendant began to deliberately cough in the direction of the police officers while smirking and not covering his mouth. He was warned about his behaviour several times, but he continued to cough in the same direction, and after a number of warnings, he was arrested for assaulting an emergency worker.
He appeared before the Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 31 March and admitted his guilt. Today, a judge sentenced him to seven months in prison for the first incident involving the coughing, and four months for the other two incidents to run concurrently.
The case follows Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC's announcement that anyone using coronavirus to threaten emergency and essential workers would face criminal charges.
Robert Glenn, of the CPS, said: “This is unacceptable behaviour and people who choose to assault emergency workers should know that they will not get away with it. Our emergency workers should be able to carry out their jobs without being assaulted or put at risk. Dragos Marchidan will now pay for his crime with a criminal record and custodial sentence.”
Notes to editors
- Robert Glenn is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS West Midlands.