A WOMAN pleaded guilty to assault today after she exhaled on a police officer and claimed she had coronavirus.

The 37-year-old woman, from Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to the assault of a West Yorkshire Police officer in court today.

She is to be sentenced at Crown Court on a date yet to be fixed, and has been remanded in custody.

Officers first discovered the woman after responding to reports of a disturbance on Whitby Avenue, in Fartown, just south of Brighouse, in the early hours of Thursday.

She became abusive towards the officers and was subsequently arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

As she was being detained, she exhaled towards one of the officers and claimed to have coronavirus.

It meant she was further arrested for assaulting an emergency worker.

Kirklees Detective Superintendent, Jim Griffiths said: "Given the particularly challenging circumstances all emergency services are facing amid the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, it is utterly incomprehensible that they would be treated in this way.

"Irrespective of the fact that this individual has chosen to use Coronavirus as the means to assault our colleague, this is a subject which we have campaigned long and hard over.

"It led to the introduction of the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act in 2018 and we will continue to use these powers against anyone who attempts to use such tactics against the very people who are trying to protect them.

"The message is clear, we will not tolerate this behaviour from the minority and the criminal justice system will take a dim view of those who take advantage of the virus for their own benefit.

"Clearly this has been particularly distressing for the officer concerned and we are providing the necessary support.

"It has not yet, however, been ascertained if the woman arrested was suffering from COVID-19."