A MAN spat blood towards a police officer at the height of the coronavirus crisis.

Damien Spear was arrested in May for an unrelated incident with officers describing him as drunk and aggressive.

At one stage, Spear had keys in his fist, seemingly ready to punch them but was soon calm enough to be put in the back of a police van.

During the journey to the police station, the 29-year-old began smashing his head against the side of the cage.

The police then pulled over, and Spear grabbed one of them on the arm, pinching the skin.

He then spat blood out of his mouth which caught one of the officers on their clothing.

Blood also landed in the back of the van meaning a specialist clean was required.

Spear, of Spendells Close, Walton, admitted assault on an emergency worker and criminal damage on the basis that it was reckless rather than aggressive when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service accepted the basis for Spear grabbing the officer’s arm but not for the spitting.

The court heard the offence was aggravated as it happened during the pandemic.

Raph Piggott, mitigating, said it was unlikely Spear was more likely to spread coronavirus because he spat blood out.

“Really, there are two offences here - one of the grabbing of the officer’s arm and one of spitting,” he said.

“The spitting is clearly the more grave offence.

“I am a lawyer, not a doctor, but Covid-19 is a respiratory illness.

“The fact there was blood is highly unpleasant and can cause all sorts of problems but you are not more likely to transmit coronavirus because it is there.

“The reason he has blood in his mouth is because he was pushed into the side of the van.

“He was clearing his mouth of the blood and even asked where he should spit.

“He was trying to spit outside the van but it unfortunately goes on the officer’s trousers.”

Magistrates declined jurisdiction of the case and committed Spear to Chelmsford Crown Court next month.

A judge will decide whether his basis of plea would make a material difference to sentencing.

Spear was granted unconditional bail but warned failing to appear was a criminal offence.