1. ITV Report

Man spat and coughed on staff claiming to have Covid-19 charged with assault

Man charged with assault after spitting and cough on staff at Stechford Retail Park. Credit: ITV News Central

A man has been charged with assault after spitting and coughing on shop workers while claiming to have 'coronavirus'.

Officers were called the the B&M store on Stechford Retail Park near Birmingham at 3.45pm yesterday (25 March) after reports a suspected shoplifter.

He had been detained in the car park.

Mehdi Razmdideh, 35, was accused of stealing two beard trimmers and threw stones at store staff during.

It was also alleged he had coughed in the faces of security staff.

The 35-year-old, from Saltley, was assessed by a nurse and deemed not to be infected with Covid-19.

He was arrested at the scene and later charged with shoplifting and assault.

Razmdideh is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (March 26).

Retail staff are being asked to work and support our communities during this extraordinary time.

"We are committed to supporting essential workers and anyone suspected of jeopardising their safety will be dealt with robustly.”

– West Midlands Police, Detective Inspector Mark Longden: