AN AGGRESSIVE man who coughed in a police officer's face "to infect him and his family" has escaped a prison sentence.

Trevor Dangerfield of Singleton Walk, Bexhill, appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Saturday and pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.

The 39-year-old became hostile towards police after they were called to a disturbance in Carmel Heights, St Leonards on Friday morning.

Officers arrested him on suspicion of breaching the peace.


But Dangerfield then coughed in the face of an officer before claiming he had Covid-19 and "wanted to infect the officer and his family".

He was then arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker and was charged the next morning.

Dangerfield was sentenced to a 16-week suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £100 in compensation and a £156 victim surcharge.

Detective Inspector Steven Shimmons said Dangerfield's behaviour was "despicable".

"Our officers should not have to deal with being assaulted while carrying out their duties to protect the public," he said.

"The fact he coughed in an officer’s face and said he has Covid-19 is awful.

"But to then make direct reference to infecting the officer’s family is despicable and obviously distressing.

"We hope this conviction goes to show that any such behaviour will not be tolerated."

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