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Man jailed following coronavirus fuelled assault

6 Apr 2020

A man who launched a violent attack on his wife following a coronavirus fuelled argument has been jailed.

Mark Palmer, 55, invited a friend to his home in Cambridge whilst his wife was out at the shops last Wednesday (1 April).

When the wife returned home at about 2.30pm, she found Palmer and his friend drinking beer together in the kitchen.

The woman told Palmer that if he wanted to do that, he could not stay in the home, out of fear he was not following the self-isolation guidance and could be putting her at risk of catching coronavirus.

An argumment broke out and Palmer assaulted the woman, who is in her 40s, a number of times, grabbing her head and pushing her to the floor.

Palmer then poured beer over the victim and threw her plants across the room.

When she went into the garden to attempt to escape him, he grabbed her neck and threw her to the floor again, spitting in her face and saying “I hope you get coronavirus and die.”

The victim then attempted to go into the front garden so that neighbours, or passing members of the public, could see what was going on. But Palmer followed her, kicked her car and threw stones at her as she tried to get away.

The victim managed to walk up the road and use another person’s phone to call police and alert them of the attack.

As Palmer noticed what she was doing, he went back inside the victims address and smashed her iPad.

When officers arrived, they found the pair sitting in the street with Palmer pleading that they “had only had a domestic.”

As one officer attempted to arrest Palmer, he assaulted them in the face before standing in a boxer-type stance with his fists by his face.

When a second officer tried to intervene and detain Palmer, he assaulted them too and escaped to the garden before re-emerging with a concrete block lifted above his head.

He attempted to chase police with the block before officers used PAVA spray which caused him to stop and subsequently drop the block when instructed.

As he was arrested, he spat on both officers and said “I’m going to give you all coronavirus” before making a homophobic comment.

When Palmer was searched, he was also found in possession of cannabis.

Palmer, of Edinburgh Road, Cambridge, admitted to common assault, two counts of criminal damage, two counts of assault by beating against an emergency worker, possession of class B drugs and an offence under Section 4A of the Public Order Act.

He was sentenced to 42 weeks in prison at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Friday (3 April).

DC Sean Clery said: “This was a despicable incident where Palmer used excessive violence and made vile comments regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“This type of behaviour against the victim and police officers, who were simply doing their job, is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I would like to commend the victim for her courage and quick-thinking in calling police, allowing us to apprehend this dangerous man and swiftly put him before the courts.

“I hope the sentence shows how seriously both police and the courts take this type of criminality. Tackling domestic abuse is one of our main priorities and I hope this sends a clear message that we are there for victims and will do all that we can to protect them.”

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