Man claiming to have coronavirus, arrested and charged with multiple counts of assault, criminal damage, theft and harassment

The Co-op in North Street, Burwell, where Benjamin Seaton claimed to have coronavirus before assault

The Co-op in North Street, Burwell, where Benjamin Seaton claimed to have coronavirus before assaulting and spitting at members of staff. Picture: GOOGLE STREET VIEW - Credit: Archant

A 30-year-old man who caused uproar in a Cambridgeshire village by claiming to have coronavirus has been charged with multiple counts of assault, theft, harassment and destroying/damaging property.

Police were called to North Street, Burwell yesterday (Sun) to reports of a man claiming to have coronavirus.

“Officers attended and the man was arrested on suspicion of assault, criminal damage and theft. He remains in custody,” said a police spokesman.

“Whilst quite alarming to members of the public who witnessed what was going on, the constabulary wants to re-assure the community that we are here ready to respond to incidents.”

The man, thought to be Peterborough, is appearing in court today (Monday).


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He is charged, say police, with multiple counts of assault, harassment, theft and destroying/damaging property.

One villager described the action of those who confronted the man as “proper community heroes”.

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The incident happened in and around the village Co-op store.

On social media it was reported that all staff were safe and well, but some had been sent home early as a result.

“This will not get us down but more makes us realise what an amazing community we have and the acts of one I promise will not impact on the job we do daily,” the manager told a village Facebook group.

Eyewitnesses described how the man had been seen throwing bottles and spitting in front of children and elderly people.

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