A man has been jailed for coughing at a community support officer after claiming to have Covid-19 in Nottinghamshire

Stephen Ravenscroft has been jailed for 30 weeks after claiming to have COVID-19 and repeatedly coughed at a community support officer. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

A man has been jailed for claiming to have coronavirus and repeatedly coughing at a community support officer in Nottinghamshire.

Stephen Ravenscroft, 41, had allegedly been begging outside a nursery and causing a nuisance to passers-by near Newark Castle Station.

CPO Andrew Weaver asked him to move elsewhere, before Ravenscroft coughed in his face and shouted: “I have coronavirus”.

He was arrested soon after the incident.

The 41-year-old, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to assaulting the Newark and Sherwood District Council key worker at Nottingham Magistrates' during an earlier hearing.

Appearing at the same court on Wednesday (9 September), Ravenscroft was sentenced to 30 weeks in prison.

He was also ordered to pay £300 in compensation and crown prosecution service costs.

Following the incident, officer Andrew Weaver said Ravenscroft's actions risked the officers 'health, but also my family’s health'.

I was more worried that if he could do this to a uniformed officer, what could he do to a member of public. Assaults of any nature should not be tolerated, but especially to key workers and emergency services, who at this time, are already stretched.

Newark and Sherwood District Council, CPO Andrew Weaver:

Nobody should have to be afraid of being assaulted while they go about their job, especially in such a disgusting manner, at a time when fears are heightened and the need to safeguard our personal health has never been greater. We want to reassure the public that we are taking instances such as this extremely seriously and bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.

Newark and Sherwood District Council Leader, Cllr David Lloyd: