Coughing footballer James Hurst told police: ‘I’ve got Covid’

James HurstImage copyright
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James Hurst played for West Bromwich Albion and Wrexham.

A footballer has been remanded in custody after being convicted of coughing at police officers and telling them he had coronavirus.

James Hurst, 28, flew into a rage in the garden of a woman’s home in Glasgow’s Drumchapel in April.

He admitted acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards the officers.

A court heard the ex-West Brom and Wrexham defender initially contacted the police claiming to be the victim of domestic abuse.

Hurst, who was previously convicted of drink driving, later claimed the matter was resolved but officers became aware of a possible outstanding warrant against him.

But Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that when police confronted Hurst, he yelled: “Get my lawyer first.”

‘Scottish slaves’

The ex-England youth international was told to calm down.

But he was arrested after swearing at officers, claiming they worked for him and branding them “Scottish slaves”.

Prosecutor Mark Allan said: “He immediately stated: ‘I’ve got Covid. I’m going to cough and spit all over you.’

“At that point, he began to cough in the faces of both officers as they were placing handcuffs on him.

“As he did this, he shouted: ‘Have that.'”

Mr Allan added: “He said he is from the Queen’s country and all Scottish are slaves to him.”

‘I am superior’

Hurst repeatedly threatened to spit on the officers and continued to hurl abuse.

He said: “You are not the law, you are civilians in uniform, Queen’s country rules, you live in Scottish slums, I am superior.”

He challenged an officer to a fight and repeated claims he had Covid-19.

Keith Tuck, defending, told the court Hurst, who now plays for non-league Hednesford Town, had aspirations of becoming a player/manager.

He added: “He is a man who in the past has had a successful career as a professional footballer and has qualifications in football as a coach in England.”

Sheriff Tony Kelly deferred sentence until the end of the month for background reports.