Court / Woman who claimed to have Covid placed on substantial community payback order

A WOMAN who claimed she had Covid-19 and repeatedly coughed in the presence of police officers has been sentenced at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Sarah Irvine, whose address was given as Grampian Prison, was placed under supervision for three years and ordered to undertake 300 hours of unpaid work when she appeared from custody on Wednesday.


The 35-year-old previously admitted repeatedly coughing in the presence of police officers while claiming to be infected with Covid-19 at an address in Lerwick on 12 January.

Four days later at another address in Lerwick she threw a vodka bottle which struck a man on the face to his injury, and while en route to the police station Irvine assaulted a police constable and coughed in his face.

While at Lerwick Police Station Irvine repeatedly claimed she had Covid-19, and made offensive and derogatory homophobic remarks to a police sergeant.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said that alcohol had “blighted” Irvine’s life.


“When she drinks she can’t control herself,” he said, adding that breaking that cycle was key for Irvine.

He said his client was “ashamed” of her actions.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said the offences were serious, and would have caused “grave concern” for those dealing with her when she claimed to have Covid.

He noted that she had been in custody since January on the matter, which amounted to a prison sentence of around eight months.

The sheriff said he was willing to place Irvine on a community payback order as an alternative to a custodial sentence, but with the maximum level of supervision and unpaid work allowed.

Irvine was also placed on a 7pm-7am curfew for fourth months.

Irvine, meanwhile, had sentence deferred to be of good behaviour after previously admitting struggling with police officers on 24 September last year at an address in Lerwick, before assaulting a constable.