A WOMAN has been jailed for coughing on West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) staff who were helping her after she showed Covid symptoms.

Anthony Marsh, WMAS chief executive, said he was delighted the woman was given a jail sentence, which he said "shows such actions will not be tolerated".

Nicola Tilstone, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to four counts of assaulting an emergency worker after coughing on three officers and a paramedic.

Staff attended to a report of a woman staggering and banging on vehicles during the incident on April 9. Ambulance staff were assisted by police officers to take Tilstone to hospital, who had potential Covid-19 symptoms due to a high temperature.

But during the journey the 37-year-old began to cough. She was advised not to cough in the direction of staff but continued to do so purposefully.

Then, while in hospital, Tilstone coughed several times including at a paramedic who was attempting to treat her.

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WMAS is highlighting the incident, that took place in Stoke-on-Trent, as one of the "shocking" cases staff have faced during the pandemic.

Tilstone pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for 27 weeks on May 20.

WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: "My staff are working night and day to help people during this dreadful pandemic.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support and gratefulness of so many patients and their loved ones, which is why this case is so shocking.

"We all know the dangers of this virus and the thought that someone would purposefully try and infect the very people there to help her is appalling.

"I am delighted that the Court has shown everyone that such actions will not be tolerated."