Luton man jailed for spitting at NHS workers

A 35-year-old man from Luton has been handed a jail sentence after spitting at two NHS workers in Luton on Monday.

Marcin Chojna, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault by beating. He pleaded guilty to the offences at Luton Magistrates’ Court today (1 April 2020).

The incident happened at around 11am when two NHS employees were standing outside a walk-in centre in Chapel Street, Luton. Chojna approached them and spat at them, before shouting expletives at them and walking away.

He was arrested later that day after officers recognised him from the description the victims gave of him. He was sentenced to nine weeks in prison for this offence and is required to pay compensation to his victims.

Chojna also received a further 10 weeks imprisonment for assaulting an emergency worker during an incident in November 2019, as well as an additional seven days for failing to surrender to custody, which brings his total sentence to 20 weeks.

Detective Inspector Tom Hamm from Bedfordshire Police’s Crime Investigation Team, said:

“This was a disgusting and unprovoked attack on two people who were standing outside their place of work, where they play a critical role. This incident has understandably left them both shaken and has been a stressful and upsetting situation in a time when people are already worried and anxious.

“I am pleased that Chojna received a custodial sentence for his repulsive actions and that he will now be able to reflect on the severity of what he did. Targeting emergency and frontline workers, especially during this difficult time, is completely unacceptable and I want this to be a warning to other like-minded individuals that we won’t tolerate this type of behaviour.”

David Carter, chief executive of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“It seems inconceivable that our staff would be abused in this way at this time and we would like to thank Bedfordshire Police for following up the incident in the way they have.”