An Oldham drug dealer coughed on two police officers at the “peak of the Covid pandemic” at a time when “people were dying in their hundreds” after declining to put a face mask.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard Zubair Adair struck two constables in Ashton Police Station after being picked up for dealing drugs for the second time.

He was asked to put on a face mask but opted not to do so and coughed on the two officers.

The 26-year-old was arrested after being spotted in a vehicle on Abbey Hills Road in Oldham which came to police attention in April this year.

After he was picked up it emerged he was banned from the roads and had no insurance.

Police also found a kinder egg in the car, which was found to contain cocaine and 14 raps of heroin.

Prosecutor Neil Ronan revealed what Adair had told the police.

He said: “When interviewed he said he was in the back of the car, officers saw he was in the front seat.

“He said the drugs weren’t his, he wasn’t even driving the car.”

The court heard Adair had also been arrested for drug dealing in January 2020.

After police were called to a property he was found to have crack cocaine inside his jacket which was worth £1850.

Adair appeared in court to be sentenced after admitting three counts of possession of class A drugs with the intention to supply them, driving while disqualified, driving with no insurance and two assaults on emergency service workers.

The offences took place while he was on a suspended sentence for actual bodily harm.

Representing the man from Netherley Street in Oldham, defence counsel Michael Maher said he had “blown it” in relation to the chance that was given to him when he was previously jail.

He conceded mitigation was a “damage limitation exercise” as a prison sentence was inevitable.

He said Adair had dealt drugs as he had lost a supply of drugs and owed a debt.

Judge Paul Lawton said he had previously given Adair a suspended sentence because the victim had been reluctant to give evidence in the case.

Imposing a sentence, he blasted the actions of Adair.

He said: “In Ashton Police Station you coughed in the face of two police officers.

“That is not a normal assault on emergency workers, that was the peak of the Covid pandemic, people were dying in their hundreds in hospitals.”

He also condemned his involvement in the “filthy trade” of supplying “addicts” with drugs.

He jailed him for a period of five years.