Police appeal after youth coughs at healthcare worker

Police are trying to trace a teenager who assaulted a healthcare worker near Banchory by deliberately coughing at her as she travelled home.

Saturday, 28th March 2020, 3:40 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th March 2020, 3:42 pm

The incident happened around 1.40pm on Friday when the woman was driving along the unclassified road from Inchmarlo Golf Course to Brathens Wood.

She saw someone sitting on the ground waving to attract her attention.

A youth moved towards her when she stopped her car and coughed directly in her face, telling her that she would now get coronavirus.

Police said he then ran off into the woods laughing, where he is believed to have joined a group of other youths.

The suspect is described as aged 13-16, of slim build, about 5ft 6ins with a local accent. He was wearing a light grey hoodie, a black jacket and black or dark blue joggers.

Officers are treating the incident as assault.

Sergeant Garry Garrow, of Banchory Police Station, said: “This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It left the woman distressed and fearful.

“I am appealing to anyone who saw what happened to get in touch, particularly if they saw this youth before or after the assault, or know who he is.

“I would also ask parents to remind their children that this kind of behaviour is more than just a prank, it can cause genuine fear and increased anxiety in the current climate.

“Officers will not tolerate anyone behaving like this and take robust action to find those responsible.”

Anyone with information that can assist with inquiries is asked to call Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 1661 of Friday, March 27, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.