A lockdown lout who coughed on a police officer after he took him home from an illicit Dundee party has been jailed for more than 20 months.
Zack De Shafta, 23, had recently been freed early from prison when he attacked PC Gavin Munro by coughing at him and claiming to have Covid-19.
Officers had broken up an illegal party in a house in Dundee and marched De Shafta home, but discovered him out drinking in the street again a short time later.
When they tried to issue him with a fixed penalty fine for breaching Covid-19 lockdown regulations, he kicked off and threatened to kill the officers.
Depute fiscal Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: “He was out on licence at the time in relation to his four previous convictions.
“At 11.30pm officers were asked to attend a noise complaint in Elders Court. The occupier stated he had friends round for a drink.
“They were asked to leave due to government regulations around Covid-19. The accused became argumentative and wanted to stay in the flat to party.
“He was walked to his home by the police and told them he would stay in. At midnight the same officers became aware of him sitting on a wall drinking.
“He failed to give any reasonable excuse for being out. He was warned he would be issued with a fixed penalty for failing to comply with the restrictions.
“Due to his behaviour escalating, he was conveyed to a police van. He was searched and a lock-knife was found in the bag he was carrying.”
The court was told that De Shafta, from Dundee, started shouting and swearing abuse, and threatened to kill police.
The depute fiscal added: “He became unpredictable, shouting, swearing and trying to take his clothes off. He half-removed his T-shirt and pulled down his trousers.
“He was taken for a full search, and when he was told to maintain his distance from the officers he responded by intentionally coughing in the face of PC Munro and shouting ‘f****** Covid.’
“The police officer was shocked and alarmed by the accused coughing on him and referring to Covid the way he did.
De Shafta admitted acting in a threatening or abusive manner in Kirk Street, Dundee, on April 20 by shouting, swearing and making death threats to police.
He also admitted having a knife and assaulting PC Munro by coughing in his face and claiming to have Covid-19.
The actions were condemned by Police Scotland Chief Inspector David McIntosh, who said: “This was disgraceful behaviour and attacks like this on our officers will be not be tolerated.
“It has been made clear previously by the chief constable and lord advocate that anyone behaving in this manner will be dealt with robustly.”
Sheriff Thomas Hughes jailed De Shafta for 16 months, in addition to the unexpired 126 days from his previous sentence.
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