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COVID-19: woman who coughed at nurse warned she faces prison term

Woman claiming to have COVID-19 had been taken to hospital by police after concerns for her welfare

Picture shows the entrance to Brighton magistrates’ court
Brighton magistrates’ court Picture: Alamy

A woman claiming to have COVID-19 who coughed in the face of a nurse has been warned she could face more than a year in prison.

Sarah Clarkson-Rose, 42, was remanded in custody after a virtual hearing at Brighton magistrates’ court on 13 May in which she admitted coughing into the faces of the nurse and a police officer and spitting into the face of another police officer.

The spitting incident occurred when she was arrested and held at a police station on 11 May on suspicion of causing criminal damage to furniture during a domestic incident.

A police spokesperson said the nurse and the police officers would be tested for COVID-19.

Picture of Sarah Clarkson-Rose.
Sarah Clarkson-Rose
Picture: Sussex Police/PA

Sussex Police deputy chief constable Jo Shiner said: ‘This was an appalling series of deliberate attacks on three public servants doing their duty to help keep the public safe.

Due to be sentenced in June

‘We are glad that the court took these offences seriously, because of the flagrant disregard with which this woman treated three workers on the front line in protecting the community at this crucial time.’

According to Sussex Police, in Ms Clarkson-Rose’s court appearance she was told by district judge Amanda Kelly that the offences deserved a longer period in custody than 12 months.

Ms Clarkson-Rose, from Ridgewood, near Uckfield, East Sussex, is due to be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on 10 June.


This story has been corrected to clarify that Ms Clarkson-Rose admitted coughing into the face of a nurse and one police officer and spitting at the other police officer, not coughing and spitting at all three.

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