Michael Aidoo jailed for spitting at London bus driver during height of COVID lockdown

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A man who spat at a bus driver during the height of England's third coronavirus lockdown has been jailed.

Michael Aidoo, of no fixed address, has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to common assault.

On 13 February, Aidoo boarded a bus in Peckham, south London, but refused to pay a fare and attempted to walk past the driver.

When challenged, the 44-year-old became abusive before pulling down his mask and spitting at the driver before getting back off the bus.

The driver, who was protected by a screen, used a swab to collect a sample of Aidoo's saliva, which he then handed to officers at Lewisham Police Station.

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The DNA was found to be a direct match to that of Aidoo, who was subsequently arrested at Vauxhall train station on 24 March.

Aidoo pleaded guilty at an appearance at Croydon Magistrates' Court the next day.

As well as being jailed, he has also been ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128.

Detective Sergeant Ian Beattie, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "This was a disgusting act against a key worker who was providing an essential service during the lockdown.

"To be spat is completely unacceptable and it is right that Aidoo has been given a custodial sentence to reflect the seriousness of this offence.

"Spitting is disgraceful at any time, but it is even more shocking in the middle of a pandemic. We will not tolerate such behaviour."

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