A THEFT-accused Greenock woman declared she had coronavirus after deliberately coughing on a police officer, it is alleged.

Kirsty Findlay, 35, is said to have committed the alleged offence at Inverclyde Royal Hospital on Thursday night.

Prosecutors say she 'culpably and recklessly' coughed on the male PC who was acting in the course of his duty.

A charge against her states that she she 'did shout that [she was] carrying an infectious disease to the danger of possible infection'.

The Telegraph understands from police sources that that Findlay, of the Inverclyde Centre, claimed to be suffering from COVID-19.

She had been arrested for allegedly stealing money on Newton Street earlier.

The Crown says that Findlay behaved in a threatening or abusive manner at the scene and shouted that she was infected, whilst allegedly acting aggressively and kicking out at a man there.

She had been due to appear at Greenock Sheriff Court on four charges yesterday afternoon.

However, after long periods of deliberation it was decided to call the case in her absence from the dock.

Prior to the case being formally called, defence lawyer Charles Drummond stated in open court: "She [Findlay] advises me that she is symptomatic."

Fiscal depute Pamela Brady responded: "If she has that position then I would have to look very carefully at how to proceed with this matter."

The petition case was eventually called in private before Sheriff Joseph Hughes.

Findlay is also charged with repeatedly threatening to cause a disturbance within the hospital and thereafter repeatedly shouting in the presence of people attending the hospital that she was carrying an infectious disease.

She made no plea through solicitor Mr Drummond, of legal firm Keenan and Co.

Sheriff Hughes continued the case for further examination and remanded Findlay in custody.

The matters are due to call again next week.