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GMP Federation

Spit Guard prevents GMP officers being spat at by man who claimed to have coronavirus

7 April 2020

Greater Manchester Police officers acted swiftly using a Spit Guard to prevent a violent man who claimed to have coronavirus spitting on them - on the same day they received Spit Guard training.

Officers in Salford attended a domestic incident in Worsley on Friday (3 April) – a suspect then proceeded to assault one of our colleagues. He then claimed to have coronavirus and threatened to spit at her and other officers.

Fortunately, they prevented further assault using the Spit Guard they had just been issued.

Shaun William Sleigh, 31, of Hilltop Court, Salford, appeared before Manchester and Salford Magis-trates Court the following day and pleaded guilty to three charges of assault on emergency workers.

He was jailed for 36 weeks and ordered to pay compensation.

Stu Berry, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: “This despicable incident shows how vulnerable our members are. The vast majority of the public support the police on their mission during the coronavirus pandemic. But sadly there are a few who weaponise this infectious disease and the full force of the law must be used against them.

“Greater Manchester Police Federation lobbied for some time to get this equipment and training to keep our members safe from spitting and biting - and thank goodness this is now in place. Officers are more at risk than ever as and they need to be protected from those that choose to attack them.

"Our members continue protect the public during this critical time. Working from home for the majority of our colleagues is not an option. They are doing an excellent job.”

Salford’s Insp Dave Whelan added: “These officers were just doing their job. The violence used to-wards them was extreme and the behaviour of Sleigh was a disgrace - especially at such a time in the coronavirus pandemic.

“My officers come to work to help the people of Greater Manchester and do so to the best of their abilities. No public servant should ever have to face such levels of violence and threats when they are striving to help and protect our communities. We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and we will take robust action against anyone threatening other people in this way.”


May 2024