Thief spat at police officer after he was arrested for stealing parcels from an Amazon delivery van in Headingley
A thug told a police officer he had Covid-19 symptoms before spitting at him after he was arrested for stealing parcels from an Amazon delivery van in Leeds.
Liam Allen also refused to wear a face mask before coughing in the face of another officer.
The 21-year-old was jailed for 10 months over the incident on February 15 this year.
Leeds Crown Court heard police officers were flagged down by members of the public near to the junction of Otley Road and Shaw Lane, in Headingley.
The officers were told that two men had just stolen parcels from the back of an Amazon van as the driver was making a delivery on foot.
Allen was chased and caught and the other man got away.
Anna Bond, prosecuting, said Allen refused to put on a face mask despite telling the officers he had Covid-19 symptoms.
He then coughed in the face of one of the officers as he was being transported to Elland Road police station.
Allen tried to kick the windows of the police vehicle and had to be restrained.
As he did so he spat in the stomach area of another officer.
Ms Bond said the officer has an autoimmune disease and felt "violated and disgusted" by Allen's actions.
The defendant was searched at the police station and found in possession of a knife.
Allen, of , pleaded guilty to two offences of assaulting an emergency worker, theft and possession of a blade.
He has 30 previous convictions for offences including robbery and assaulting an emergency worker.
Timothy Jacobs, mitigating, said Allen was sorry for what he had done.
Mr Jacobs said his client tested negative for Covid-19 after the incident, adding: "He wasn't actually infected so the risk was low."
The barrister said Allen's offending was linked to him abusing alcohol.
Mr Jacobs said: "He is getting fed up of the revolving door of going in and out of custody."
Sentencing, Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: "Whatever possessed you to conduct yourself in the manner you did is mind-boggling.
"You know that anything to do with the pandemic causes a lot on anxiety and worry.
"People are simply anxious going out in case they are unfortunate enough to get themselves infected."