Footballer coughed at police claiming to have Covid-19

James Hurst, 28, has been given 160 hours unpaid work after hurling abuse at officers in Glasgow during lockdown.

Footballer coughed at police claiming to have Covid-19 Getty Images

A footballer who coughed at police officers after claiming he had coronavirus has been given 160 hours unpaid work.

James Hurst, 28, flew into a rage in the garden of his partner’s home in Glasgow’s Drumchapel in April this year.

The former West Brom and Portsmouth defender hurled anti-Scottish abuse when informed there was an outstanding speeding warrant on him.

Hurst then spat on the faces of the officers as they tried to put him in handcuffs.

He pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards the officers.

Sheriff Paul Crozier ordered Hurst to do 160 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

Sheriff Crozier told Hurst that although he had met the custodial threshold, other disposals were available due to “glowing” references and time spent on remand.

The court heard Hurst initially contacted the police claiming to be the victim of domestic abuse.

Hurst later claimed the matter was resolved but officers became aware of a possible outstanding warrant against him.

An angry Hurst yelled: “Get my lawyer first.”

The ex-England youth international was told to calm down.

But, he ranted: “I don’t need to tell you anything, just f*** off, you work for me, you’re Scottish slaves so f*** off.”

Hurst was soon arrested. 

Prosecutor Mark Allan said:  “He immediately stated ‘I’ve got Covid, I’m going to cough and spit all over you’.

“At that point he began to cough in the faces of both officers as they were placing handcuffs on him.

“As he did this, he shouted ‘Have that’.”

Hurst also branded an officer a “Scottish b****.”

Mr Allan added: “He said he is from the Queen’s country and all Scottish are slaves to him.”

Hurst repeatedly threatened to spit on the officers and continued to hurl abuse.

He said: “You are not the law, you are civilians in uniform, Queen’s country rules, you live in Scottish slums, I am superior.”

He challenged an officer to a fight while stating “Scottish p**** I’m not going to go lightly.”

The ex-Birmingham City stopper repeated claims he had Covid.

Linda Findlay, defending, told the court Hurst, who now plays for non-league Hednesford Town, is ashamed of his actions.

She added: “He is under no illusions that his conduct was terrible and accepted all along that it was regrettable.”

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