A man who spat at police during the Covid-19 lockdown has been jailed.
Duan Jacques Te Moana, 42, from Rotorua, appeared in the Rotorua District Court this morning after pleading guilty to a charge of assaulting a police officer.
Judge Maree MacKenzie sentenced him to 14 days in prison.
The sentencing comes as police say they will be taking a tougher stance on those who breach lockdown rules.
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A police summary of facts released to the Rotorua Daily Post said Te Moana was driving a Nissan vehicle on Fenton St on April 14 about 6.30pm.
Police activated lights and sirens on the patrol vehicle and Te Moana stopped nearby on Victoria St.
The police officer requested Te Moana's name and details.
At the time the driver's side window was only slightly down allowing only a gap of about 10mm.
The officer asked Te Moana to wind the window down to enable clearer contact between the two. Te Moana replied by swearing at the officer, the summary of facts said.
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Te Moana refused to give his name, again swearing at the police officer.
Te Moana was warned he was required to give his details when stopped by police, however Te Moana continued to swear at the officer.
His behaviour escalated to him trying to get out of the car to confront the police officer, but the driver's door was closed by the officer to prevent further escalation, the summary said.
Te Moana was told to stay inside his vehicle, but he ignored the instruction and tried to get out again to confront the officer.
The officer forcefully closed the driver's door to keep him inside which enraged Te Moana to the point where he spat at the officer from inside the vehicle, the summary said.
The saliva made contact with a monsoon shield which was fitted to the exterior driver's window. The saliva made no contact with the police officer.
More police staff arrived and Te Moana was arrested.
In explanation, Te Moana said he "just wanted to go home and was sick of being pulled over by police".
The summary said Te Moana had previously appeared before the court.
After the sentencing, Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said Te Moana was tested for coronavirus after the incident, and the result came back negative.
The sentence sent a message to the public that such behaviour wouldn't be tolerated, Taikato said.
Had the saliva landed on the police officer, the sentence no doubt would have been longer, he said.
"No one deserves to be spat at let alone during a situation like this."
Rotorua police warn they are about to get much tougher on people breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules.
Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said police would be sending a much stronger message as of this week to people around abiding by the restrictions.
He said whether the country was in level 4 or level 3, the guidelines were clear.
"We are being criticised for being too lenient and those who are making sacrifices are getting hōhā (annoyed) with us."
Taikato said they had kept a record of everyone who had been warned and from now there would be no second chances.
"Up until now we have had a strategy of education rather than enforcement - but we have still given tickets to some - but now we are in week four, there will be notices handed out.
"In the past, we have given the public the benefit of the doubt but this week now there will be little tolerance."