SENIOR police officers say people spitting while claiming to have Coronavirus is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

The warning comes after two more people in County Durham have been sentenced for spitting.

April Syrett, of no fixed abode, was arrested by police following an incident at Superdrug, in Chester-le-Street, on Monday, March 30.

The 19-year-old was refused entry to the store as she appeared to be intoxicated before she threatened staff.

She said she would return to the shop and spit on the victim and the victim’s children and give them Coronavirus.

The door was closed to prevent her entering and it was at this point she spat at the glass which separated them.

At Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, Syrett admitted assault and a public order offence and was sentenced to four weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

She was also ordered to pay £200 compensation and has been given an exclusion requirement not to enter Superdrug, in Chester-le-Street, for 12 months.

In a second case, District Judge Timothy Capstick said it went against his better judgment to suspend a prison sentence after Ian Muncaster spat in an officer’s mouth.

The 40-year-old, of Cotswold Place, Peterlee, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of drink driving.

However, when two officers tried to carry out the arrest outside his address, Muncaster became aggressive and assaulted both officers.

He kicked one officer causing her bruising to her knee and spat into the mouth of another before shouting “Corona”, as he lashed out and swore at them.

At Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court earlier today, Muncaster was sentenced to a total of 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He also imposed an electronically-monitored curfew from 7pm to 5am for 12 weeks and ordered him to pay £700 in compensation.

The judge told Muncaster he avoided immediate imprisonment because he had not been involved with the courts for some time, had a full-time job as a key worker and his behaviour was out of character.

Superintendent Richie Allen, of Durham Constabulary, said: “This type of behaviour simply won’t be tolerated in our community.

“Threatening to give somebody Coronavirus and spitting at them is completely unacceptable and abhorrent.

“Reports of this nature have been exceptionally rare, but anybody behaving in this manner should expect that they will be arrested and prosecuted for their actions.”