A shielding man launched a booze-fuelled attack on a shopkeeper and a customer over spilled sweeties, before he coughed in two police officers’ faces.
Neal Mulligan, 42, of Ballindean Terrace, admitted five offences at Dundee Sheriff Court, where he was remanded until sentencing.
The court heard Mulligan suffered from COPD and had been shielding for weeks before the series of incidents on April 5, stemming from a tub of sweets which he knocked over at Fairdeal Stores, on Ballindean Road.
Fiscal Depute Eilidh Robertson said the shop owner Hassan Mirza asked Mulligan to pick up the sweets, but he ignored him prompting another customer, Thomas Walton, 58, to ask again.
The fiscal said: “The accused turned round and punched him. Mr Mirza ran round the counter and the accused repeatedly punched him.
“He then picked up the sweets and threw them at Mr Mirza then ran off.”
Police were contacted and when they arrived Mulligan appeared back at the shop and became aggressive towards them, so officers took hold of him.
The fiscal continued: “The accused forcibly coughed in the direction of one of the police officers, then the other, saying that he had been isolating for 12 weeks because he has COPD and coronavirus symptoms including coughing and trouble breathing.”
Mulligan was taken to police headquarters, but remained within the car due to his Covid-19 symptoms, and was cautioned and charged before being taken home.
He claimed to have left his mobile phone in the shop so officers returned to get it and as they were speaking to Mr Mirza, Mulligan reappeared.
He began shouting racist abuse and making threats towards Mr Mirza and was taken back to police quarters and cautioned and charged again.
Sheriff Tom Hughes warned Mulligan that he faced a “long time” in prison.
He said: “It’s a repeat of your previous convictions and the problem is that this was not only one incident, it was continued for quite a while, totally and utterly unacceptable and reprehendable in relation to the officers.”
Sentence was deferred until September 16 for reports and Mulligan was remanded meantime.