SCORES of defendants appeared in our courts during the Covid-19 pandemic over crimes related to the disease.

In 2020, these eight defendants were among those who committed the most shocking crimes.

Brighton pensioner Peter Davy made the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he became the first person in the country to be jailed over a Covid-19 offence.

The then 65-year-old spat through a neighbour's letterbox in Albion Street and spouted homophobic abuse.

The Argus:

When police arrived, he shouted: “Leave me alone, I will spit on you, I’m infected with coronavirus. I will kill you.”

He spat at an officer and made the threats, despite himself having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which made him highly at risk if he were to contract Covid-19.

Davy was at first taken to hospital over fears about his drunken state, and later shouted: “I’m here because I called my neighbour a f***ing homosexual.”

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court District Judge Amanda Kelly told him: “To spit at someone is disgusting, but to do so in the midst of a national emergency is completely and utterly despicable.”

She jailed him for six months.

There was outrage over the crimes committed by former cabin crew worker Sarah Clarkson-Rose in Uckfield.

After police arrived to a domestic row, she was taken into custody where she spat at two officers.

The Argus:

Later after concerns were raised for health she was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital, and told staff she had a fever and a cough.

Nursing staff tried to bring her a commode to use for the toilet, and she told nurse Rachel Swift: “I’m not using that, I will p*** on the floor and you can clean it up.”

Clarkson-Rose admitted the NHS saved her life when she previously contracted malaria, and said she had once hoped to be a nurse but was rejected on medical grounds.

She coughed at staff and told them she “definitely” had the virus and told them “I hope you get it”.

Then she smeared blood from a cannula drip and told another police officer she was HIV positive.

Clarkson-Rose, then aged 42, was jailed for six months.

While the country was told to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS in the first lockdown in April, young woman Millie Robinson and Bayleigh Meadows were caught having a house party in Eastbourne.

The then 21-year-olds launched a barrage of abuse against officers, and one struck an officer about the head with a metal toilet roll holder.

The Argus:

Judge Christine Laing QC told them: "Police officers on a daily basis have to face risks to protect the public, perhaps never more so than during a pandemic. They should not have to deal with behaviour like that which we saw ever.”

Robinson was jailed for six months, while Meadows was jailed for a year.

Thug Lawrence Hughes was jailed for eight months after repeatedly punching a police officer who lay on the ground.

The Argus:

The officer had searched a Brighton property and had arrested Hughes on suspicion of criminal damage before being attacked in April.

It is understood that former lecturer Jane Challenger-Gillett lost her Brighton University job for spitting at police.

On April 1 she spat at PCs Alexander Ferguson and Stuart Ellis.

She was spared prison for the offence, but was jailed in June for spouting racist abuse and an assault in police custody.

The Argus:

The 55-year-old was jailed for six months.

Meanwhile Michael Jones was jailed for 38 weeks for spitting at police and kicking a security guard in Brighton city centre on April 9.

The Argus:

Finally Lisa Scopes was jailed for six months because she was abusive and threatening and repeatedly coughed at police in Wick.

Chief Inspector Jon Carter said: "“In this case the officers were simply trying to help her in a volatile situation and also to ensure that several children were kept safe.

The Argus:

“Scopes’ actions in threatening the officers and attempting to infect them were despicable and it is good to note that the court has clearly reflected that view.”