A Crystal Palace woman has been jailed for racially abusing and spitting at a member of the public, before coughing at police and claiming she had coronavirus.

Carol Cowan, 52, of Church Road, SE19, was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment for the racially aggravated assault, as well as 26 weeks for assaulting two police officers, to run concurrently.

On Monday, 8 June at around 10:45hrs, police patrolling Westow Street, Croydon, were flagged down by a member of the public who had been subjected to verbal racial abuse by a woman in the street who went on to spit in her face.

The officers located the woman and detained her. When inside the police vehicle the woman told officers that she was a Covid-19 sufferer and began to cough in their faces.

Cowan was arrested on suspicion of a Section 4 [racially aggravated] Public Order offence and common assault.

She was taken to a south London police station where she was remanded in custody to appear at Croydon Magistrates' Court the following day.

Cowan pleaded guilty to all counts.

Inspector Duncan Anderson, of Croydon police, said: "Spitting or coughing in the face at anyone is disgusting and unacceptable behaviour at any time, but given the concerns around COVID19 that we all currently face it is appalling.

She was ordered to pay compensation of £100 each to three victims.