A man shouted obscenities in Waitrose after being told by a police community support officer (PCSO) to wear his mask correctly, a court heard.
Lee Dean, 29, appeared before Swindon Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with a Section 5 public order offence and an unrelated charge of actual bodily harm (ABH).
Crown prosecutor Ben Worthington said the defendant, formerly of Angel Yard, Marlborough, was in Waitrose in the town on 19 December last year when two PCSOs entered.
Having noticed that Dean was not wearing his mask correctly, he was asked to wear it properly – ensuring his nose was covered. He told the officers to step away from him – so they did, and he corrected his mask.
But as he walked away, venturing further into the store, he pulled it back down.
He was then witnesses to be waving his arms around, swearing and shouting – using the word ‘f**king’ in every sentence. He’s noted to have called the PCSOs “plastic pigs”.
The officers followed him around the store whilst calling for backup and as he exited, he was greeted by police officers who arrested him.
Defending, Mark Glendenning said it wasn’t the “worst matter in the world”, adding that his client was upset about the death of his grandmother shortly before.
He said the police would be “very busy if they approached everybody not wearing their mask properly”, and said they’d taken a particular interest in Dean – following him around the store.
He accepts he was abusive, Mr Glendenning told the court.
Adding his own words from the dock, Dean said: “I apologise to the officers, I was in a bad place”.
Despite having a conditional discharge for theft, magistrates decided not to sentence him for that offence and leave it running. They instead fined him £50 and told him to pay £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.
He also pleaded not guilty to a charge of actual bodily harm (ABH) on a woman in Marlborough which allegedly occurred yesterday, Tuesday 30 March.
A trial is to be arranged for 10 May, and Dean was released on conditional bail. He must live at an address in Yatton, not enter Wiltshire or contact his victim directly or indirecly.