A DRUNKEN thug who claimed to have coronavirus and coughed on a police officer during the height of the pandemic was jailed yesterday for 16 months.

Ian Burns assaulted PC Susan Gilmour in Glasgow’s Govan area in May this year.

The 40-year-old was initially found staggering along the street and followed by the officers.

He tried to cuddle a member of the public before being confronted by the officers.

Burns told the cops he had the virus and coughed on the PC Gilmour who was helping him maintain his balance.

Burns pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner as well as the police assault.

The court heard Burns was abusive when spotted by officers on Govan Road.

Burns continued to shout: “F*** off” and “F***ing a*******”.”

Prosecutor Hannah Terrance said: “At that point he tried to cuddle a member of the public who was standing outside a shop.”

Burns was arrested due to his behaviour and was searched prior to entering a police van.

Miss Terrance added: “He was asked if he as in contact with anyone who had Covid-19 and he was asked if he had any symptoms.

“He said ‘aye I do’ and turned to his right and coughed directly in the face of PC Gilmour who had her hand on him to steady him.”

Burns continued to shout and swear on the journey to the police station and made a threat to stab PC Andrew Atkinson.

Lawyer Marissa Borland, defending, told the court Burns was asked about coronavirus as he had been coughing that day due to being the victim of an assault which resulted in an injury to his ribs.

Sheriff John McCormick said: “The court must do what it can to protect police from assault like this which you did during the pandemic.”