Police officers have spent more than a year continuing to deal with London crime amidst a global pandemic.
Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Pete Shaw described policing the pandemic as “frustrating and worrying” with officers regularly having to take time off work having tested positive for Covid.
As well as breaking up illegal gatherings, there have been a sad number of incidents in which police officers and other key workers have been spat at by criminals, putting them at further risk of contracting the virus.
While the pandemic has seen communities support each other like never before, it has also highlighted some of the worst in society.
Below, My London has rounded up 12 criminals who have spat at police officers since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Man who kicked one police officer and spat at another in North London
(Image: Met Police)
A man was jailed for assaulting two police officers after he had been found intoxicated in Kingsbury, North London.
Theiventhiram Balakumar, 58 of no fixed abode was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment after being found guilty of two counts of assault by beating of an emergency services worker at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, May 6.
Balakumar kicked one police officer in the leg and spat at another officer.
The incident happened on September 9 2020 when officers from the North West Command Unit were called to Princes Avenue, following reports of a man collapsed at the back of a property.
He was sentenced at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on May 6.
Drunk ‘continually spat at’ officers and urinated in police van after ‘punching paramedic’
(Image: Metropolitan Police)
A man “continually spat at” police officers after “punching” a paramedic at a North London hospital.
Jamie O’Neill, 28, also urinated in a police van on his way to custody before smearing blood on the walls of his cell, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard on April 28.
He had originally attended North Middlesex Hospital, Enfield, on March 19 to be treated for an injury to his hand, but tried to leave upon finding out how long he would have to wait to receive treatment.
Upon trying to leave, he was approached by a paramedic who tried to convince him to stay due to the severity of the injury, which would later require seven stitches.
However, O’Neill assaulted the paramedic “by punching him in the head” before spitting in the face of hospital security staff trying to detain him.
He received a 20-week custodial sentence due to the seriousness of spitting at staff during a pandemic and being in a hospital setting while drunk.
Drunk thug, 21, spat at female police officer and racially abused another in vile attack
A man who spat and hurled vile racist insults towards police officers avoided being sent to prison.
Mumhibur Ali, 21, was caught on CCTV racially abusing a black police officer at Leyton Custody Centre in East London before then spitting at a female officer while he waited to take a breathalyser test.
Ali spat twice on the floor at the police station and, when his request for a bin to spit in was refused, he directly spat at a female officer, with the saliva landing on her vest.
He then shouted: “You’ve got Covid now, b****.”
Ali, of Sherwood Gardens, Tower Hamlets, received 32 weeks’ imprisonment for the offences of racially-aggravated harassment and assaulting an emergency worker.
West London thug spat at police officer and claimed he had Covid
(Image: Metropolitan Police)
A West London thug who spat at a police officer and told them he had Covid has been jailed.
Thomas McCarthy, 31, of Allenby Road, Southall carried out the disgusting act on Friday, February 5.
Police officers arrested McCarthy after being called to his home to reports of criminal damage.
When in the caged area of the van, McCarthy spat at one of the officers and stated whilst laughing that he had Covid-19.
McCarthy was arrested and charged with assault on an emergency worker and criminal damage and remanded in custody to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 8.
Teen jailed for spitting at London Underground worker after police identified him from his spit
A teenager was jailed for spitting at a London Underground worker after police used forensics to identify him from his spit.
British Transport Police officers used forensics to trace Hasib Rahimi, 19, after he spat at a member of railway staff at Northwick Park Underground Station on Tuesday July 7 2020.
Rahimi had entered the station and asked for free travel after claiming he had lost his travel pass.
When he was told no, he angrily dialled the police and handed the phone to the staff member. The victim told the operator there was no emergency, ended the call and then was spat at by Rahimi.
Rahimi was jailed for 10 weeks and ordered to pay a £128 fine at Uxbridge Magistrates Court on April 9.
Drunk spat at hospital staff, headbutted window and arrived at court intoxicated
A drunk who spat at hospital staff and headbutted a window before turning up to court intoxicated avoided a prison sentence.
Andrius Surgautas, 35, was using cannabis and drinking “10 bottles of Guinness a day” when he self-presented at King’s College Hospital at 7am on July 17, 2020.
One member of the security team had to “act as a barrier” between Surgautas and a nurse, before colleagues began trying to escort him from the building.
Surgautas continually kicked security in the shin and looked one member of staff in the eye before spitting in the direction of their face.
He appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on December 1, but was found to be drunk and displaying disorderly behaviour outside the building. Surgautas appeared again at the same court on May 21 and was given a 12-month community order
Man caught on video spitting at bus driver in Croydon after being asked to pay for fare
(Image: Met Police)
A man who spat at a bus driver during the height of lockdown has been jailed.
Michael Aidoo, 44 appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, March 25, and pleaded guilty to common assault.
The court heard that on the morning of Saturday, February 13, Aidoo, of no fixed address, boarded the 436 bus on Queens Road in Peckham .
Aidoo refused to pay a fare and tried to walk past the driver. When challenged, he became abusive. The passenger then pulled down his mask and spat at the driver before getting back off the bus.
He was sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128.
Crystal Palace man jailed for spitting at police claiming he had coronavirus
A man from Crystal Palace who threatened to spit at officers after claiming he had coronavirus was jailed for 12 months.
Jason Gritton, 45, of Central Hill, was found guilty of assaulting an emergency worker and affray on August 4, 2020, following a trial at Croydon Crown Court.
Police carrying out enquires to locate Gritton for driving offences attended his home address on April 30.
The 45-year-old tried to hide from officers and began waving a large knife while making threats to kill.
He also threw a number of objects, including a storage box, at the officers and threatened to spit at them after claiming he had coronavirus.
Man who coughed in face of police officer
(Image: Met Police)
The first person in the UK to be jailed for a coronavirus related offence, Adam Lewis coughed, tried to spit at, and bite a police officer in Westminster.
He first got the attention of the police officer when a member of public flagged the PC down.
He was told that a man – Lewis – had been seen attempting trying the handles of car doors in the area.
When the officer tried to detain the 55-year-old he tried to resist and smashed a bottle of wine he was holding on the floor, then threatened him saying: “I am covid [sic] and I am going to cough in your face and you will get it.”
He was convicted of an assault on an emergency worker on Wednesday, April 1 and jailed for six months.
‘I hope your kids get coronavirus’
(Image: Met Police)
A South Norwood man was jailed for 19 weeks after threatening to spit at two police officers before telling them he hoped they get coronavirus.
Michael Gray was in custody after being arrested for not turning up to court. The 41-year-old told the officers he hoped they’d get Covid-19 so that they would pass it on to their children.
He was charged with assault on an emergency service worker and using threatening words or behaviour, and as well as the jail time was fined £100 and disqualified from driving for 26 months.
‘Angry’ Croydon man spat at police
(Image: Met police)
A 23-year-old was jailed after he spat at police custody staff and lied about having Covid-19 because he was ‘angry.’
Karan Singh had been taken into custody on suspicion of possession of a class B drug and became increasingly aggressive, finally spitting directly into the custody sergeant’s face – spit which also hit other officers.
He was charged with three counts of assault on an emergency worker, use of threatening and possession of a class B drug (cannabis), and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.
Man spat at police while being arrested for threatening to kill woman
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A 21-year-old man was sentenced to six months in jail after spitting at officers during an arrest for a domestic incident.
Brandon Wallace was being arrested on suspicion of domestic threats to kill and criminal damage to property belonging to the threatened woman.
The man told officers he had Covid-19 and, while being put into a police van, he spat at two officers. He later admitted he didn’t have coronavirus symptoms.