A DRUG addict who coughed in the faces of police officers while shouting ‘I hope you f***ing die’ when they arrested him for burglary has been jailed for his ‘disgusting’ behaviour.

Dean Rowbotham also launched an ‘appalling tirade’ of racist abuse towards a police officer calling her a ‘Paki ***’ as he was being taken into custody following his arrest.

The 31-year-old faced a catalogue of charges following his arrest on May 22, including burglary, theft, assault, two Covid related charges of assault on an emergency worker and racially aggravated public order against an emergency worker.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Rowbotham’s offending on that day started with him attacking his friend with a piece of wood after taking drugs in his Hartlepool home before stealing his wallet.

He then attempted to break into a nearby home where he tried to force the patio doors before breaking into that adjoining garage and smashing a car window to steal anything he found inside.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said the burglary has had a devastating impact on the victim.

In his victim personal statement, the man said his grandchildren were now too scared to stay at his house because the garage is next to the room where they slept.

Rowbotham, of Colwyn Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to a total of nine charges, including the two Covid related charges of assault on an emergency worker.

In mitigation, Stephen Constantine, said the defendant had a long history of drug use. He added: "He is quite appalled by his behaviour on reflection. He can only apologise for his behaviour because he can't put it right."

Judge Paul Watson QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, said: “You turned on the police officers, threatening to infect them with the Corona virus, generally behaving in quite an appalling manner.

“The officers were not to know whether you were infected or not but you were doing your best to upset the officers as much as you could and you did, they had to put the spit hood on you.”

Dealing with the racist abuse of the officer, he added: “This was an appalling tirade of racist abuse – I’m not going to repeat it in this court – it was foul and disgusting, made worse by the racial element.”

Rowbotham was jailed for a total of 27 months and issued with an indefinite restraining order to stay away from his victims.