Preston man jailed for spitting at police and making Covid-19 claim

A man has been jailed for six months for spitting at police in Preston and telling officers he had Covid-19.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 10:33 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 10:36 am
Lee Howell, of Preston, was jailed after spitting at police and claiming he had Covid-19

Lee Howell, 31, was arrested around 5.45pm on Wednesday after police were called to a report of an altercation close to Jemmet Street.

Howell, also of Jemmet Street, was arrested on suspicion of assault and became aggressive, calling police ‘rats’.

As Howell was put in a police van, he spat in the face of an officer and was restrained.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

En route to custody Howell claimed he had Covid-19 and he hoped officers died, all of their families died and the officers never saw them again.

He continued to abuse officers, chanting ‘Corona’ while in custody.

Howell was charged with assault by beating of an emergency worker and appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court yesterday, when he pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison and ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge.

Supt Karen Edwards, Operations Manager for South Division, said: “Howell's conduct was absolutely appalling and will not be tolerated. This was a dangerous and despicable offence, particularly given the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is completely unacceptable that this brave front line officer has been subject this act when he was doing his best to keep our communities safe.

"I welcome Howell’s imprisonment which should serve as a warning to others who commit such offensive acts."