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Shoplifter denies ‘coronavirus’ cough assault on Kesgrave Tesco staff

PUBLISHED: 05:30 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:04 15 September 2020

John Bloomer is alleged to have assaulted a member of staff at the Tesco store in Kesgrave  Picture: ARCHANT

John Bloomer is alleged to have assaulted a member of staff at the Tesco store in Kesgrave Picture: ARCHANT

A shoplifter has denied coughing at member of staff and claiming to have coronavirus.

John Bloomer, appearing via video link at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Monday, admitted stealing from Tesco, in Ropes Drive, Kesgrave, on April 21 but denied common assault outside the store.

The 41-year-old is alleged to have deliberately coughed at a member of staff and claimed he had Covid-19.

Bloomer, of Poppy Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to stealing £107.50 of alcohol from the shop – and stealing razor blades worth £60 from Boots on October 5 and 9 – but entered a not guilty plea to assault and will face trial later this year.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said: “The assault charge is linked to the theft from Tesco, so it may be appropriate to adjourn all matters to tie in with the trial and for there to be one sentencing exercise.”

Bloomer was released on conditional bail until his trial on November 30.


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