Lance King was admitted to the emergency department of the Royal Stoke University Hospital in England on Monday shortly after 1:30 p.m. with symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
“There are occasions when unusual circumstances, under extreme circumstances, call for an extraordinary approach, and this is one of those occasions,” District Judge Kevin Grego said, according to Metro.
“Whatever your circumstances were, whether you felt paranoid, or miserable, or fed up, you should not have been out, in any event, to behave in the way you did toward emergency workers,” Grego added.
A man has been jailed for 12 months after coughing in the face of two nurses at Royal Stoke University Hospital. Lance King was admitted with suspected Covid-19 and coughed on two A&E nurses who were trying to treat him on Monday. Full story: https://t.co/OezXFdlvlT pic.twitter.com/0X3UttIJNP
— Staffordshire Police #StayHomeSaveLives (@StaffsPolice) April 10, 2020
Shortly after King, who has no fixed address, was admitted to the hospital, he started showing erratic behavior, allegedly walking up to one nurse, wheezing in her face, and spitting into the face of another. King reportedly also urinated on the floor in his cubicle and scribbled on himself with a pen.
“In a time of crisis, like these people, like you need to understand that emergency workers will be protected and those who behave in this way toward emergency workers can expect the full weight of punishment on their shoulders,” Grego said.
“Coughing on nurses who are working to save people’s lives is totally unacceptable,” Assistant Chief Constable Simon Tweats said in a police statement.
“The message remains clear: stay at home and follow the guidelines,” Tweats added. “We don’t want to have to take action but we will do so if required. Particularly against a small minority who repeatedly choose to put other lives at risk.”