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  1. ITV Report

Lancashire man jailed for six months after spitting at police and claiming he has coronavirus

Lee Howell Photo: Lancashire Police

Police were called reports of an altercation close to Jemmet Street in Preston on Wednesday 20 May.

Lee Howell was arrested on suspicion of assault and became aggressive, calling police ‘rats’.

As the 31-year-old was put in a police van, he spat in the face of an officer and was restrained.

He claimed he had Covid-19 and he hoped the officers and all their families died.

Howell continued to abuse officers, chanting ‘Corona’ while in custody.

He was charged with assault by beating of an emergency worker and appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court today where he pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison and ordered to pay a £128 surcharge.

This was a dangerous and despicable offence, particularly given the COVID-19 pandemic. It is completely unacceptable that this brave front line officer has been subject this act when he was doing his best to keep our communities safe. I welcome Howell’s imprisonment which should serve as a warning to others who commit such offensive acts.

– Supt Karen Edwards - Lancashire Police