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Dagenham man jailed for attacking woman and coughing on police while claiming to have Covid-19

Darren Rafferty has been given a restraining order for 15 years (credit: Metropolitan Police)

A man from Dagenham has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for breaking a woman’s leg and coughing on police officers while claiming to have Covid-19.

Darren Rafferty, 45, of Bentry Close, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault on emergency workers. 

It is after he attacked a woman inside an address in Gainsborough Road at around 1.30pm on Tuesday, 24 March. 

Rafferty stamped on the victim’s knee, causing multiple fractures, and lunged at her with a knife which cut her arm as she tried to defend herself. 

Police were called to the scene where they found Rafferty, the blade used in the attack, and the victim suffering serious injuries. She was taken hospital for treatment. 

During the arrest, Rafferty was verbally abusive to officers, claimed he had Covid-19 and repeatedly coughed in their faces. Officers restrained the thug but he continued to try and cough at them. 

Today at at Snaresbrook Crown Court, he was sentenced to 30 months’s imprisonment for causing GBH and given a further 12 months’ for three separate assaults on emergency workers.

Rafferty was given a 15 year-restraining order.

“This was a horrendous attack on many levels,” Detective Inspector Lucie Card. “Rafferty’s vicious, sustained assault must have terrified his victim and has caused her a lot of pain. I sincerely wish her the best for her recovery and hope she can rest a little easier after today’s outcome. We take violent crime seriously and will continue to tackle it, even in these challenging circumstances. 

“To use COVID-19 as a weapon against an emergency worker is disgusting but, thankfully, such incidents are extremely rare. However, anyone who does try to use coronavirus to threaten or harm others should expect to face serious consequences.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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