Man claiming to have coronavirus spits on police officer
A man who was arrested for spitting on a police officer twice after claiming he was infected with coronavirus laughed in the back seat of the cop car.
Betherly Dean Barlow, 42, appeared in the Townsville District Court on Wednesday morning where he pleaded guilty to serious assault police officer by biting, spitting etc.
The court was told police witnessed Barlow exit the Rising Sun bottle shop at Mundingburra on the wrong side of the road before mounting the median strip on March 25 this year.
Police pulled the vehicle over and requested Barlow provide a breath sample.
Crown prosecutor Shannon Sutherland said Barlow refused to provide a sample and told the police constable, "him and two others in the car had coronavirus".
As the police constable moved the breathalyser through the car window closer to Barlow's face, he spat on the officer's right hand.
Barlow was arrested and as he walked towards the police car, he spat again at the police constable.
The court heard after Barlow was placed in the police vehicle, he started laughing in the back seat.
Ms Sutherland told the court, the police constable that was involved in the offending "was placed under much unnecessary stress and anxiety".
The court heard Barlow was tested for coronavirus but returned a negative result.
Defence barrister Travis Schmitt said Barlow had abused alcohol his whole life and had been drinking on the day of the offence.
"His level of intoxication provides some explanation to his poor judgment and he is extremely sorry for his behaviour," he said.
"It is out of character. He has never spat on anyone and he doesn't know why he did it on this particular occasion."
Judge John Coker told Barlow disrespecting any frontline worker was " an appalling degree of behaviour".
"They were nothing short of disgusting and you should hang your head in shame," he said.
Judge Coker declared the 91 days spent in pre-sentence custody and sentenced Barlow to 12 months' jail with immediate parole.
Convictions were recorded.
Originally published as 'Disgusting': Man with 'coronavirus' spits on police officer