Coronavirus: Man charged with ‘purposefully’ wiping spit on supermarket goods

Suspect, 20, apprehended at Bridport branch of Lidl not thought to have Covid-19

Joe Sommerlad@JoeSommerlad
Sunday 05 April 2020 14:50
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A 20-year-old man has been arrested after being accused of “purposefully” wiping his saliva on products on the shelves of a branch of Lidl in Dorset, potentially endangering the health of fellow shoppers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The man entered the supermarket on St Andrews Road in Bridport ​at about 2pm on Friday afternoon wearing a face mask and gloves, according to Dorset Police.

He was then seen to lower the mask and lick his fingers before rubbing his spit across produce in the aisles.

The police said the man in question was duly arrested after enquiries were made and subsequently charged with the offence of contaminating or interfering with goods with intent under Section 38 of the Public Order Act 1986.

He is now scheduled to appear before Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on 6 May, lockdown measures permitting.

Dorset Police said the suspect did not have a confirmed case of Covid-19 and was not displaying any symptoms.

As Britons become increasingly frustrated with the government’s quarantine initiatives to stop the spread of the contagion, health secretary Matt Hancock has warned outdoor exercise could be prohibited if the public fail to adhere to social distancing rules and are tempted out by the balmy weekend weather.

Additional reporting by PA