A GREENOCK woman charged with an alleged 'coronavirus' coughing offence against a police officer has been freed on bail — after appearing in court wearing a protective face covering.

Kirsty Findlay — who has been locked up on remand since March — had the pink-coloured fabric shield masking her mouth and nose as she was brought into the dock for a pre-trial hearing.

The 35-year-old is accused of 'culpably and recklessly' coughing on a male PC at Inverclyde Royal Hospital and declaring that she had Covid-19.

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

The alleged offence is said to have occurred following Findlay's arrest on allegations of theft.

She failed in a bail bid in June, with a sheriff telling her at the time that it was 'not appropriate' to release her.

But lawyer Gerry Keenan made a successful motion this time, pointing out the length of time his client had already spent in prison - more than 170 days - due to the backlog of criminal cases created by the pandemic.

Procurator fiscal depute Claire Rowan opposed bail on the grounds of Findlay's criminal record and bail breach offences.

Mr Keenan argued: "She has spent a period in custody far beyond what would have been anticipated."

Findlay had initially been arrested for allegedly stealing money on Greenock's Newton Street.

Prosecutors say she behaved in a threatening or abusive manner at the scene and shouted that she was infected with coronavirus, whilst allegedly acting aggressively and kicking out at a man there.

Sheriff Joseph Hughes said: "I'm satisfied that the risks regarding you can be managed but if you come back breaching this bail you will be in serious trouble."

Findlay was allowed bail to an address on Westfield Road in Port Glasgow, on condition that she adheres to a 6pm to 6am night-time curfew and attends Greenock police office every Wednesday and Sunday morning.

The case is due to call for a further pre-trial hearing on November 10.