Woman who coughed cancer survivor at height of Covid-19 pandemic jailed for 30 days

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Woman who coughed cancer survivor at height of Covid-19 pandemic jailed for 30 days


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A woman who was filmed coughing on a cancer survivor as the pandemic raged in the United States last summer has been jailed for 30 days.
Debra Hunter, 53, left a sputum on cancer survivor and mum of ten Heather Sprague’s face when she approached her while shopping at a home goods store in Jacksonville , Florida, last June, reports First Coast News.

Ms Sprague, who had undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor 10 months earlier and was still being treated at the time of the assault, had watched Hunter argue with staff over an item she wanted to return for 15 minutes before deciding to record.

That’s when Hunter turned to her and said, “I think I’m going to really get close to you and cough on you, so how’s that?” », Before approaching him and coughing.

According to the US media outlet, Ms Sprague told Judge James A. Ruth of Duval County Court during the sentencing hearing: “The act of the accused coughing in the face at the height of a pandemic was an act that was meant to attack me at my weakest point, physically and psychologically.

She was also ordered to pay $ 500
(Image: Debra Hunter)

She added that she was “more and more fearful afterwards” because she was unsure if she had contracted the potentially fatal disease.

Ms Sprague said she then had to scramble to take a Covid test and ultimately be tested negative. Her ten children were also tested and were all negative.

Video of the assault recorded by victim went viral
(Image: Debra Hunter)
The incident happened at a Jacksonville housewares store in June of last year
(Image: homeware)

Hunter, who was also fined $ 500 for the incident and ordered to cover the costs of Ms Sprague’s Covid testing, has been ostracized in her community since video of her attack went viral.

She said the incident caused her children to lose all of their friends as she received hundreds of messages and threats on social media.

“The reality is that my family has been permanently marked,” Hunter told the judge, the newspaper reports.

Hunter reportedly apologized to his victim, saying a lot was going on, including that his family had lost all of their belongings in a house fire.

But Judge Ruth slammed Hunter for showing more remorse for how the incident affected his family rather than the victim.

He said she spoke about how it had “changed her world”, but he saw no “significant expression of her regret at the impact it had on the victim in this case.”

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