A Danish man has been sentenced to four months in prison for coughing and shouting “corona, corona” at two police officers, Denmark’s top court ruled on Thursday.
The man’s actions were comparable to “a criminal threat of violence,” the Supreme Court said.
The incident took place in March in the Danish city of Aarhus, when a patrol car stopped a car in which the man was a passenger.
The man, who was in his early 20s, testified that he was drunk, but not infected with the coronavirus. He had coughed and shouted ‘corona,’ partly due to being drunk, as he had just celebrated his birthday.
He was within about a half metre of the officers when he coughed in one of their faces and at the upper body of the other officer, the court statement read.
The man was acquitted by the Aarhus district court for the cough, but given a month-long sentence for fleeing from a patrol car that was taking him to a police station. He handed himself in a few days later.
On appeal, he was handed a three-month prison sentence by the Western High Court.
Both the defendant and the prosecution then appealed to the Supreme Court – the defendant was seeking acquittal while the prosecution wanted a longer sentence.