A judge has delivered swift justice to a man who spat at police officers while claiming to have symptoms of Coronavirus.

Paul Leivers 48, of Tideswell Court, Mansfield, has been jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to two counts of assault on an emergency worker.

It's believed to be one of the first such cases in the country since new powers were given to police last week.

Leivers was arrested on March 26th in Mansfield and then went on to spit at Nottinghamshire Police custody officers.

Just two days later he appeared in front of District Judge Leo Pyle at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. The court confirmed that Leivers did not have Coronavirus, nor the symptoms of the disease. District Judge Pyle said it was in the public interest to deal with the matter sooner rather than later.

These are two distinct acts and it was appalling behaviour, these offences were deliberate and pre-mediated. Emergency workers have a difficult job at the best of time even more so at the minute and the court will not flinch to protect officers.

District Judge Leo Pyle

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper, of Nottinghamshire Police, said the sentence sent out a very powerful and clear message that such behaviour would not be tolerated in any shape or form and especially not now in the current climate.

In these worrying times for us all having someone spitting at front line officers threatening them with Coronavirus is both despicable and appalling. Our officers are putting their duty to the public ahead of their own welfare at this current time. They put themselves at risk every single to day in order to protect our communities – they should not and will not have to put up with this.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper