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Jail for man who coughed on police officers after coronavirus claim – Manchester

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A man who claimed he had coronavirus and deliberately coughed at two police officers has been jailed following a British Transport Police investigation.

Oreighn Joel Marcus Quintyne, aged 21, of St Thomas Road, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and two counts of assault when he appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 11 May. He was jailed for 32 weeks and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £156.

The court heard how on Saturday, 9 May at around 8.15pm Quintyne was at Manchester Victoria station attempting to board a train to Halifax without a ticket. When barrier staff prevented him, he became argumentative and British Transport Police were called. 

He advised the two officers he had coronavirus and would not leave the station, becoming increasingly aggressive, threatening violence before making repeated attempts to climb the barrier.

When the officers stopped him he repeatedly coughed and sneezed at them, telling them he had coronavirus and that he wanted them to get it.

Despite the officers’ attempts to hold him back Quintyne eventually climbed over the barrier and onto the tram tracks where he removed his T-shirt.

After calling for assistance the officers managed to remove Quintyne to safety where he was arrested and taken into custody.

While in his cell, Quintyne defecated and smeared faeces around the cell, causing him to be additionally charged with criminal damage.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean O'Callaghan said: “This was a despicable act at a time when our officers, along with other emergency services, are serving on the frontline to protect the public. Quintyne’s threats caused the officers involved great worry but despite this they continued to restrain him and bring him to safety when he jumped down onto the tram tracks. 

“Day in, day out, our officers put the safety of others, who are at times attempting to harm them, before their own welfare.  We will not tolerate behaviour like this or any abuse or violence towards our officers at this or any other time.”

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