Breaking COVID19 Crime West Sussex Worthing

Worthing man jailed for spitting at a police officer and claiming to be infected with Covid-19.

Worthing man jailed for spitting at a police officer and claiming to be infected with Covid-19.

Simon Rogers-Davis, 29, of Brighton Road, Worthing appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Friday, (1 May) and pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, affray and racially aggravated harassment.

Police were called to The Wolsey Hotel, in Brighton Road, Worthing at 12.45pm on Wednesday, 29 April, following a report that a resident was damaging property and throwing food around.

Officers attended and arrested the defendant. Rogers-Davis told police he was suffering from Covid-19 symptoms and subsequently said to an officer that it has “all happened because you’re Chinese” before pretending to sneeze, spitting at the officer and making further racially abusive comments.

Rogers-Davis was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment for assaulting an emergency service worker, four weeks imprisonment for affray and eight weeks for racially aggravated harassment to be served concurrently. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128.

The victim, who does not wish to be named, said: “When I turn up to work I do not expect to be assaulted or racially abused while carrying out my duties as a police officer.

“I definitely do not expect to be spat at during the current climate of Covid-19. This was an anxiety provoking experience and was totally unnecessary. This potentially could not just have had an effect on me, but also put my colleagues and family at risk.”

Sergeant Peter Allan of Adur and Worthing Prevention said: “I am pleased the court took these offences seriously, because of the flagrant disregard to one of our officers and the vile and personal racist abuse.

“I hope this result sends a strong message to those who seek to exploit public fear, to make personal attacks on those members of the emergency services who are working are hard to protect the community, of which they are members too.”