A 22 YEAR OLD Farnborough man has been sentenced to 26 weeks in prison after being found guilty of spitting in the face of a paramedic.
Daniel Jankovic, of Fernhill Road, Farnborough, was sentenced to 20 weeks for assaulting an emergency worker in Victoria Road, Aldershot, on April 7.
He was also ordered to pay the victim £200 compensation when he appeared before Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Thursday, April 9.
The court heard the paramedic was sat in an ambulance waiting for a colleague who was attending to a casualty at an address nearby. Jankovic approached the ambulance and asked who they were treating.
When the paramedic refused to tell him any details, Jankovic spat in his face. The incident was caught on the council’s CCTV cameras.
Police attended and Jankovic then made off, running onto the railway line in an attempt to get away.
He was also found guilty of trespass but no separate penalty was given.
Jankovic was however sentenced to a further six weeks for theft from a motor vehicle in Honington Mews, Farnborough, on March 31. He was seen gaining access to a Ford Focus and stealing a £10 note from inside.
He was further sentenced to another six weeks in custody, to run consecutively, for breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order he was under at the time of the theft offence.
He also received no further penalty for possessing a small amount of cannabis on March 31.
Increasing reports of verbal abuse and assaults on people on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis are being reported every day.
Police, NHS staff and key workers are reporting being verbally abused, spat or coughed at, with some people claiming to have Covid-19 symptoms.
Surrey Police Chief Superintendent Jane Derrick said: “We have engaged, explained and encouraged people to do the right thing in following the government’s guidance to stay home and ensure we protect the NHS and ultimately save lives during this devastating public health crisis.
"With those who chose not comply with the government’s guidance, we have taken the necessary enforcement action.
“However we had cases of our officers who are engaging with the public or responding to reports of crime who have been spat or coughed on by individuals claiming to have coronavirus in a bid to avoid being arrested. We have also had reports of people spitting at and verbally abusing key workers.
“It is appalling that the women and men on the frontline of this crisis are being threatened with the virus that they are working so hard every day to protect us against.
"The fact that they are being spat or coughed on is bad enough, but to then claim to have Covid-19, makes the behaviour even more despicable. Being assaulted is not part of the job."
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced that such behaviour could constitute common assault, and attacks on emergency workers specifically were punishable by up to two years in prison.