A SHOPLIFTER who raided a discount store spat at police sent to arrest him.

David Pritchard tried to steal batteries from Savers in Crawley. When police arrived he spat at PC David Cowsill and spouted abuse.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how the 27-year-old spat out “on a number of occasions” and claimed he had coronavirus.

Pritchard, of Grange Road, Crawley Down, admitted attempted theft, assault and threatening behaviour, which were “fuelled by alcohol”. He was given an eight-week suspended sentence and was told to pay £100 compensation.

Magistrate Julian Ashley also ordered Pritchard to complete 20 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service.