Man sparked Covid concern in town supermarket

A man who spat out part of an orange into a supermarket’s fruit display sparked fear he may have been spreading coronavirus.

Stephen Burnett, 56, of Haldane Burgess Crescent in Lerwick went on a “shoplifting spree” in Tesco.

Burnett pleaded guilty at Lerwick Sheriff Court to stealing fruit, bakery and dairy produce, along with an array of other items.

He also admitted culpably and recklessly expectorating into his hand, and throwing matter into the fresh fruit, potentially exposing others to Covid-19.

The incident happened on 9th April. Burnett was fined a total of £510.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said said Burnett was disabled and suffered from a long list of health problems, including diabetes and back pain.

He said his client had gone into the store after taking medication. He added it was possible Burnett had taken a double dose of insulin by mistake.

There was “no suggestion” Burnett had Covid-19.


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