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Man spared jail for spitting in police officer's mouth and shouting "corona"

Durham Police said Muncaster was handed a 12-week jail term, suspended for 12 months Credit: PA

A drink driver who spat in a police officer's mouth and shouted "corona" has escaped jail.

Ian Muncaster, 40, of Cotswold Place, Peterlee, County Durham, became aggressive and assaulted two officers who went to arrest him outside his home on Sunday.

Durham Police said Muncaster was handed a 12-week jail term, suspended for 12 months.

According to the force, District Judge Timothy Capstick said it went against his better judgment to suspend the prison sentence.

Muncaster kicked one officer causing her bruising to her knee and spat into the mouth of another before shouting "corona", as he lashed out and swore at them.

The judge also imposed an electronically-monitored curfew from 7pm to 5am for 12 weeks and ordered him to pay £700 in compensation.

Durham Police said the judge told Muncaster he avoided immediate imprisonment because he had not been involved with the courts for some time, had a full-time job as a key worker and his behaviour was out of character.

Superintendent Richie Allen, of Durham Constabulary, said: "This type of behaviour simply won't be tolerated in our community.

Threatening to give somebody coronavirus and spitting at them is completely unacceptable and abhorrent."

– Superintendent Richie Allen, Durham Constabulary

"Reports of this nature have been exceptionally rare, but anybody behaving in this manner should expect that they will be arrested and prosecuted for their actions."

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