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Jailed: Dagenham man who broke woman’s leg and coughed ‘coronavirus’ at police

PUBLISHED: 14:17 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:17 05 June 2020

Darren Rafferty, of Bentry Close, Dagenham, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault on emergency workers. Picture: Met Police

Darren Rafferty, of Bentry Close, Dagenham, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault on emergency workers. Picture: Met Police

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A Dagenham man has been jailed for 30 months and handed a 15 year restraining order after brutally attacking a woman and assaulting police officers.

Darren Rafferty, of Bentry Close, broke the woman’s leg in a sustained assault then coughed on the officers, claiming he had coronavirus, as they arrested him.

Rafferty pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault on emergency workers.

The court heard that around 1.30pm on Tuesday, March 24, Rafferty went to an address in Gainsborough Road, Dagenham and attacked a woman.

He subjected her to a brutal and sustained assault, during which he stamped on her knee - causing multiple fractures - and lunged at her with a knife, which slashed her arm when she tried to defend herself.

Police found 45-year-old Rafferty in the property, the knife used in the attack, and the victim suffering serious injuries.

She was taken to hospital for treatment.

Upon his arrest, Rafferty was verbally abusive to officers, claimed he had Covid-19 and repeatedly coughed in their faces.

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Despite being restrained, he continued to try to cough in their faces.

Rafferty was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, June 5.

He was jailed for 30 months for causing grievous bodily harm; and 12 months, to run consecutively, for three separate assaults on emergency workers.

A restraining order was imposed for 15 years.

Officers were praised by the judge for their professionalism and the care that they took, despite the appalling conduct of the defendant.

Detective Inspector Lucie Card, who led the investigation, said: “This was a horrendous attack on many levels.

“Rafferty’s vicious, sustained assault must have terrified his victim and has caused her a lot of pain.

“I sincerely wish her the best for her recovery and hope she can rest a little easier after today’s outcome.

“We take violent crime seriously and will continue to tackle it, even in these challenging circumstances.

“To use Covid-19 as a weapon against an emergency worker is disgusting but, thankfully, such incidents are extremely rare. “However, anyone who does try to use coronavirus to threaten or harm others should expect to face serious consequences.”


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