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Commissioner welcomes jail sentence for man who spat at police officers while telling them he had coronavirus

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has welcomed the jailing of a man who spat at police officers while telling them he had coronavirus.

Kieron Kelly, 25, from Plymouth, admitted assaulting the two officers, resisting arrest and being in possession of a class C drug.

Kelly, who has a history of offending, spat at the officers on Saturday (April 4) in Plymouth and appeared in front of Exeter magistrates on Monday (April 6). He was committed to prison for six months for the assaults and ordered to pay compensation of £160.

On Friday, April 3, Judith Christopher, 42, from Exeter, was jailed for spitting in a police officer’s face after she had been arrested for falling to comply with COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown orders. She was also jailed for six months.

“Emergency services workers are on the front line of the response to coronavirus and put themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of the public every time they pull on a uniform,” the commissioner said.

“All too often sentences for those who assault police officers and NHS staff are not robust enough. I have raised concerns with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service that too often these cases are not pursued or the sentences are too lenient.

“Now more than ever emergency services workers need to know that they have the criminal justice system behind them. I hope that this sentence sends a message to the public that these attacks will be punished.”