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

Woman claiming to have COVID-19 had been taken to hospital by police after saying she felt unwell

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

A woman claiming to have COVID-19 who spat in the faces of a nurse and two police officers 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 the offences.

The attack on the first police officer 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.

Nurse and police officers will be tested for COVID-19

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

A police spokesperson said: ‘Overnight she claimed to be feeling unwell in her police cell, but on being taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital spat repeatedly in the faces of both the nurse who was trying to help her and another police officer who was escorting her and was also trying to help.

‘All three emergency workers were unhurt, continued on duty and have shown no symptoms of coronavirus.’

The spokesperson said the nurse and the police officers will be tested for COVID-19.

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 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.

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

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