Upper Norwood woman, who claimed to have Covid-19, coughed at officers and hurled racist abuse passer-by in Croydon

A woman who racially abused a passer-by, claimed to have coronavirus and coughed at two officers has been jailed for 26 weeks.

Carol Cowan, 52, of Church Road, Upper Norwood, pleaded guilty at Croydon Magistrates Court to racially aggravated assault and assault of two police officers

Cowan was given 20 weeks imprisonment for racially aggravated assault on a member of the public; and 26 weeks for assault for the attack on the cops. She was also ordered to pay compensation of £100 each to three victims.

Sentences are to run concurrently.

On Monday, 8 June at around 10.45am, police patrolling Westow Street, Croydon, were flagged down by a member of the public who had been subjected to verbal racial abuse by a woman in the street who went on to spit in her face.

The officers found the woman and detained her. When inside the police vehicle the woman told officers she was a Covid-19 sufferer and began to cough in their faces.

Cowan was arrested on suspicion of a Section 4 [racially aggravated] Public Order offence and common assault.

She was taken to a South London police station where she was remanded in custody to appear at Croydon Magistrates’ Court the following day.

Cowan pleaded guilty to all counts and was sentenced as above.

Inspector Duncan Anderson, of Croydon police, said: “Spitting or coughing in the face at anyone is disgusting and unacceptable behaviour at any time, but given the concerns around COVID-19 that we all currently face it is appalling.”


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