A drunk shopper who claimed to have Coronavirus before spitting in an argument with supermarket security staff has been jailed.
Vile Denise Reid has been sent to prison for 18 weeks after the disgusting abuse of staff at the Asda at Manor Walks shopping centre in Cramlington.
A court was told how the 46-year-old was ejected from the supermarket by security staff for being drunk and disorderly at around 5pm on Saturday (March 28).
But as they attempted to remove her from the store, Reid became abusive and claimed she was infected with Coronavirus.
Staff immediately backed away from her but she continued her verbal abuse before spitting on the ground next to the security staff.
Police were called and Reid, of Beaumont Street, Blyth, was arrested before later being charged with common assault.
She appeared before North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday) where she pleaded guilty and was jailed for 18 weeks.
Now Chief Inspector Kev Waring, of Northumbria Police, says the custodial sentence should send a strong message that “behaviour of this nature won’t be tolerated”.
“This is despicable behaviour and I am delighted that magistrates have seen it fit to hand a custodial sentence to Denise Reid,” said Ch Insp Waring.
“The fact that Reid falsely claimed to have Coronavirus would have left staff at this supermarket very shaken up during what is already a concerning time for them.
“Our supermarket staff are doing an amazing job and they are working incredibly hard to be able to provide essential goods to our communities. They deserve our help and support.
“They most definitely should not be verbally abused or spat at and I hope this custodial sentence offers them reassurance that behaviour of this nature won’t be tolerated.
“I would ask that our communities continue to come together and treat each other with respect and compassion.
“I have witness extraordinary examples of community spirit and that is what our region is famous for – we need that to continue now more than ever.”
If you want to report an incident to police, or information about a breach of the Coronavirus restrictions, then we would ask you to do this online at the Northumbria Police website.
The public should not contact police to ask about the restrictions, or potential punishments, as all the information that can be provided is on www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Always dial 999 in an emergency.