Man spat on dog walker before claiming to have coronavirus

Voeller Kwatabyala, 32, was jailed for 21 months for the assault at Glasgow's Forth and Clyde Canal.

A man who spat on a dog owner then laughed and claimed he had coronavirus has been jailed for 21 months.

Voeller Kwatabyala, 32, launched the abuse at Raymond Thomson, 52, after telling him he didn’t like his pet.

Mr Thomson was left “shaken” by the incident at Glasgow’s Forth and Clyde Canal in April.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Kwatabyala pleaded guilty to the assault.

A not guilty plea was accepted to Kwatabyala attempting to kick the dog and threatening to throw it in the canal.

The court heard Mr Thomson was walking his dog when Kwatabyala walked towards him under the influence of drink or drugs.

Mr Thomson asked Kwatabyala to move away from his personal space.

Prosecutor Mark Allan said: “In response, the accused spat towards Mr Thomson causing saliva to land on the front of his body warmer.

“The accused then shouted ‘by the way I’ve got that coronavirus’ and started laughing.”

Mr Thomson walked away and contacted the police who later traced Kwatabyala nearby.

He told officers that he did not have the virus.

Chris Munro, defending, told the court the dad-of-one, who has degrees in drama and marketing, has a dislike of dogs.

He said: “The dog was sniffing and nibbling at his leg.

“The owner said the dog wouldn’t do any harm and he didn’t like that.

“He took a foolish overreaction which would have been alarming.”

Mr Munro also stated that Kwatabyala had been freed early from prison at the time of the offence.

Sheriff Ian Fleming told Kwatabyala he had no option but to impose a custodial sentence.

He added: “In the middle of a national pandemic, you chose to spit on the victim due to a gross overreaction to an incident involving a dog.

“People who do this must be dealt with severely.”

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