Coronavirus: Darlington man jailed for police spitting threat

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Sherborne CLoseImage source, Google
Image caption,
William Hall was arrested on Sherborne Close in Darlington

A man who threatened to spit in the eyes of police officers has been jailed for 24 weeks.

William Hall became aggressive after being arrested in Darlington on Wednesday afternoon, Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court heard.

The 39-year-old had earlier been seen driving erratically and was shouting and swearing at members of the public.

Hall, of Sherborne Close in Darlington, admitted a number of offences.

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Durham Police said he was arrested on suspicion of driving offences and assaulting police officers.

While being put in the back of a police van, he screamed at two escorting officers, making homophobic comments towards one and saying he would rape the other, as well as making several racist comments.

Hall then threatened to cough and spit at the officers, saying he hoped they would contract the coronavirus and die.

He admitted six counts of assaulting a police officer, drinking and driving, racially aggravated harassment and two counts of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Magistrates also banned him from driving for 12 months.

Assistant Chief Constable John Ward said: "Our officers should never have to face this kind of abuse while simply doing their job.

"Threatening to spit at someone is disgusting behaviour at the best of times, but it is even more despicable given the current circumstances.

"At a time when our communities are pulling together to protect one another, it is disappointing to see that a small minority are still showing a complete disregard for the law and for others."

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