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Man on assault charge for ‘coronavirus cough’ at police

Scotland Yard said Darren Rafferty claimed he had the illness when he was arrested.

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A man has been charged with assault after allegedly coughing in a police officer’s face (Nick Ansell/PA)

A man has been charged with assault after allegedly coughing in a police officer’s face (Nick Ansell/PA)

A man has been charged with assault after allegedly coughing in a police officer’s face (Nick Ansell/PA)

A man who allegedly coughed at police officers and claimed he had coronavirus has been charged with assault.

Darren Rafferty, 45, of Dagenham, east London, will appear in court on Wednesday, charged with grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault on an emergency worker.

Scotland Yard said officers were called to reports of an assault in Dagenham early on Tuesday afternoon and found an injured woman, who was taken to hospital for treatment. They also found a knife.

The Metropolitan Police said that, during Rafferty’s arrest, “he coughed on officers and stated that he was suffering from coronavirus”.

He will appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court.

PA