A PORTLAND teenager who allegedly coughed at a police community support officer and told her "I've got coronavirus" is due to appear in court next month.

The 18-year-old has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker, a breach of Covid-19 (coronavirus) guidelines by being in a group of three or more and a public order offence following an incident in Shaftesbury on Monday March 30.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said the female PCSO approached a man in the town and asked him to explain why he was outside, It is reported that the man became verbally abusive and refused to give his details, before running off down Bell Street.

 The officer pursued the man and he was detained after a member of public intervened. The man then allegedly coughed toward the victim and said: “I’ve got coronavirus.”

The alleged offender is not a confirmed case of Covid-19 (coronavirus) and was not displaying symptoms.

The 18-year-old man from Portland is due to appear at Poole magistrates' court on Tuesday, April 14.

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses.

Inspector Simon Perry, of North Dorset police, said: “We are continuing to carry out a full investigation into this incident and I am appealing to anyone who may have witnessed it to please contact police.

“I am particularly keen to speak to the member of public who came to the victim’s assistance.

Information to Dorset Police on 101, quoting crime number 55200046500, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.