| 5.5°C Belfast

Man accused of ‘purposely coughing’ over police officers released on bail

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard that Brendan Walker told two constables he had coronavirus and coughed in their faces during an arrest.

Close

A man has denied ‘purposely coughing’ over police officers arresting him after telling them he had coronavirus (Liam McBurney/PA)

A man has denied ‘purposely coughing’ over police officers arresting him after telling them he had coronavirus (Liam McBurney/PA)

A man has denied ‘purposely coughing’ over police officers arresting him after telling them he had coronavirus (Liam McBurney/PA)

A man has been released on bail after denying he had “purposely coughed” in the faces of two police officers.

Brendan Walker, of Clanmorris Street, Belfast, is accused of two counts of attempted grievous bodily harm and two counts of common assault.

The 39-year-old appeared in the dock of Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, where he denied all the charges.

The court heard that two Police Service of Northern Ireland constables went to arrest Walker on Wednesday following allegations that he had assaulted his partner on Monday and Tuesday.

She claimed that, in one incident, he pushed her over, causing her to suffer a miscarriage.

Walker’s defence lawyer contended there is no evidence that she was pregnant.

A PSNI officer told the court: “When he was arrested he stated that he had coronavirus and continued to cough into the faces of (the two constables) from a distance of less than one metre.”

It was confirmed that Walker is not currently known to have coronavirus.

His lawyer said the couple had been self-isolating because Walker has asthma and a suspected chest infection, adding that he had become distressed when placed in a mask, pulling it off and coughing because of his difficulty in breathing.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted bail to an address to be approved by police.

Walker must abide by a curfew and is banned from contacting his partner.

PA