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Man who claimed to have Covid-19 charged with trying to inflict GBH by spitting on police officer

He faced a catalogue of charges and was refused bail when the case came before the court on Saturday morning

Covid police

A Co Armagh man recently tested for Covid was today (Saturday) charged with trying to inflict grievous bodily harm on a police officer he allegedly spat on.

Lisburn Magistrates Court heard that when Darren Pio Marshall was being arrested on Friday evening, the 23-year-old lashed out at the officers, trying to kick and bite them.

During a contested bail application, an officer told the court Marshall had claimed to have had a Covid-19 diagnosis shortly before he “turned his face to police and spat on an officer”.

Marshall, from Loughview Grange in Craigavon, did not appear in court as he was in the Covid suite at Musgrave Street station so the proceedings were conducted in his absence.

The 23-year-old is charged with attempting to inflict GBH with intent, four counts of assaulting police, two counts of criminal damage in relation to police vehicles, using disorderly behaviour and resisting police, all allegedly committed on October 30 this year.

The court heard that when he was being arrested for breaching bail conditions, Marshall “became agitated” and was shouting to be allowed a cigarette before officers put him into the back of the police car.

Marshall refused to get in and during a struggle, he allegedly kicked the car, kicked out at the officers and tried to bite them.

The constable said that at one stage, given the information they had about his Covid test, officers tried to put a surgical mask on Marshall who was face down across the back seat, but he again tried to bite the officer’s hand.

She claimed that Marshall was also heard “trying to encourage extra saliva into his mouth” to spit again.

Defence counsel John Paul McCann said while the allegations do not “sound edifying at all”, he submitted that “they are allegations – nothing has been proven in court”.

He argued that despite police concerns, bail conditions could be put in place to allow him to be freed.

District Judge Eamon King said he was satisfied about the risk of further offences being committed so he refused bail, remanding Marshall into custody until November 6.

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