Coronavirus: Woman who spat at police and a nurse jailed

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Sarah Clarkson-RoseImage source, Sussex Police
Image caption,
Sarah Clarkson-Rose said she was "disgusted and ashamed" of her actions

A woman who spat and coughed at two police officers and a nurse claiming she had coronavirus has been jailed.

Sarah Clarkson-Rose, of New Barn Lane, Ridgewood, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to assaulting the emergency workers at Eastbourne District Hospital on 11 May.

Jailing her for six months, Judge Janet Waddicor described the behaviour as "unacceptable and despicable".

Lewes Crown Court heard that none of those attacked developed Covid-19 and that Clarkson-Rose was not a carrier.

The 42-year-old former air stewardess was originally arrested following a disturbance at her home, and taken to a nearby police station where she refused to co-operate with a standard Covid-19 health assessment.

Prosecutor Edward Hand told the court she managed to remove her face mask and spat "directly in the face" of a police constable and laughed.

He added that she spat towards the officer again, still laughing.

'I hope you get it'

Later on, she was found to be unconscious and was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Mr Hand said she told the nurse treating her that she had a cough and a fever, and had been in contact with someone who had tested positive and died.

Clarkson-Rose then coughed "directly towards her face", Mr Hand said.

She also turned to a police officer and coughed at him three or four times, saying: "I hope you get it."

She then ripped a cannula out of her arm, and with the bleeding it caused tried to wipe some of her blood on the officer, saying: "I hope you got some because I am HIV positive."

Marianna Pasteris, defending, said Clarkson-Rose was now "disgusted and ashamed" of her actions, and had no memory of them as she "effectively blacked out".

Clarkson-Rose pleaded guilty to assault by beating of an emergency worker and two charges of common assault of an emergency worker.

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