A drunk who spat in the eyes of police custody officer has been jailed for 13 weeks.

Peter Cooper, 36, was being held at Melksham police station over the weekend after he was arrested on Saturday for being drunk and disorderly near his home in Warminster.

Officers feared the Wiltshire man was suffering from coronavirus. It was said he made a comment about having been self-isolating.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court this morning heard Cooper had spat three times in the face of a detention officer despite being repeatedly warned not to.

The spittle landed on the officer’s face, hitting him in the eye and mouth.

The officer was extremely upset and is now self-isolating over concerns Cooper may have had coronavirus. He is the second Melksham custody officer to have been sent home after being spat at by those suspected of having Covid-19.

Cooper, of Westleigh in Warminster, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker and being drunk and disorderly.

Magistrates sentenced him to 13 weeks imprisonment. Chairman of the bench Jane Flew said the offence was so serious only immediate custody was appropriate. She called it a deliberate attack on a public servant carrying out his public duties and highlighted the affect it had had on the officer, his family and others in the police station.

Cooper was ordered to pay £250 compensation.