Banburyshire man makes first appearance in court in connection to 'Covid-19 related coughing' incident with police

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A Banburyshire man made his first appearance in court today (Monday March 30) for an assault charge in connection to a 'Covid-19 related coughing' incident with police.

Thames Valley Police have officially charged Thomas Butler, aged 27, of Farnborough Road, Mollington, with one count of assaulting an emergency worker.

The charge follows an incident which occurred in Banbury at about 9.30pm on Saturday March 28.

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The incident started after TVP Cherwell officers responded to reports of a wanted male from Banbury and subsequently located and arrested him.

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The man wanted by police allegedly coughed in an officer's face and claimed to be suffering from Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Thomas Butler had his first appearance in court today (Monday March 30) at Oxford Magistrates' Court.

The court ordered him remanded into custody to appear in court again at a later date.

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TVP Cherwell said the following on Facebook: "Actions like this will not be tolerated and we thank the CPS for their support and charge in this matter."

Thames Valley Police Cherwell had just issued a warning message on social media after getting reports of incidents within the area where people had deliberately coughed or spat at others while claiming to have Covid-19.

Police said any such incident will be fully investigated and the full support of the Crown Prosecution Service will be sought for the maximum appropriate sentence.