A MAN spotted in a stolen car coughed in a police officer’s face and claimed he had coronavirus in a bid to avoid taking a breath test.

William Leggat, 19, was seen by officers exiting the stolen Mercedes in Glasgow’s Cranhill in March this year.

Leggat made off before being tracked by police helicopter to a nearby shed.

He repeatedly coughed in the face of an officer before stating “I have coronavirus.”

Leggat pleaded guilty yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court to reset of a motor vehicle and driving without a licence.

He also admitted culpable and reckless conduct towards police and failing to provide a breath test.

The court heard the owner of the Mercedes from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, reported it missing the morning before.

The vehicle was later spotted damaged in Cranhill.

Officers followed the car before seeing Leggat step out.

He spotted the officers and fled on foot jumping over a garden fence.

Prosecutor Lauren Staunton said: “Police were advised by helicopter there was a heat sense in a shed.

“Leggat was found in the shed attempting to hide from the police.”

It was then he coughed in the officer’s face and made the remark about coronavirus.

Leggat went on to refuse two breathalyser tests.

Lawyer Judith Hutchison, defending, said: “It his position that the coughing was more of an attempt to avoid a breath detection.”

Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC told Leggat: “I take a serious view of your behaviour towards the police.

“The police, who are doing their work, don’t need threats from someone saying they have coronavirus.”

Sentence was deferred until next month for background reports and Leggat was remanded in custody and banned from driving meantime.