A thug arrested for domestic abuse offences coughed and spat at police officers after testing positive for coronavirus, telling them: “You’ve got COVID now”.
Patrick James Lee also threatened to bite the officers as they guarded him in hospital, a court heard.
The 38-year-old, who had previous convictions for domestic violence, has been jailed for 21 months after pleading guilty to assaulting two emergency service workers, as well as a charge of coercive and controlling behaviour.
Handing him the sentence at York Crown Court, Recorder Mark McKone told Lee: “You were tested for COVID-19, your test was positive and you knew that. You showed a complete lack of respect for the police.”
York Crown Court heard that Lee had been arrested for controlling and coercive behaviour towards his girlfriend in November when he was taken to York Hospital.
Two officers were assigned to stand guard over him but when they arrived at 2am, Lee was walking around a ward in just his boxer shorts and socks, causing a disturbance and trying to talk to other patients.
As they tried to calm him down, he fought off the officers — one of whom suffers from Asthma — and was swearing and shouting.
Prosector Andrew Stranex said: “This defendant made determined efforts to cough and spit at the officers.”
He told the court that Lee, who knew he was carrying the virus, shouted at them: “You’ve got Covid now”, and when he was told he could have infected others, replied: “Good. I hope they are both police officers.”
The court heard Lee had been arrested for controlling and coercive behaviour against his girlfriend after banging her head repeatedly against a kitchen draining board and jumping on her head in a different incident, as well as locking her in the house.
His barrister Chris Moran said Lee had drug and alcohol problems and had suffered two close family bereavements in four years that had affected him badly.
While remanded in prison he had taken COVID-19 hygiene training so he could work as a prison cleaner, the court heard.
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