Northern Ireland news

Jail for man who grabbed female carer's face mask after 'screaming that he had Covid-19'

A man who grabbed a female carer’s face mask after screaming that he had Covid-19 has been handed a jail sentence.

Darren Moore (46) appeared at Craigavon Magistrates Court today by videolink from his solicitor's office.

Moore, from Lime Grove in Lurgan, had earlier entered a guilty plea to a single count of common assault on May 19 this year.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court how he had run into his friend’s flat “screaming that he had Covid” before grabbing the carer's face mask.

Defence solicitor Kevin McCamley said Moore was drunk at the time and had “little recollection” of the incident but “he has asked probation and police to put forward his apologies to the injured party”.

However, District Judge Rosie Watters said: “He doesn’t deserve a lot of sympathy.

“This is just a horrible disease and for anyone to say that they have it is horrible and to pull at the mask of a carer who was trying to give care in difficult circumstances... is a horrible, horrible incident."

She handed Moore a four-month sentence for the assault and also activated two months of a suspended sentence which he was in breach of, to be served consecutively.

The district judge ordered Moore to appear at court today to surrender himself to custody or to sign bail pending an appeal of the sentence.

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