Darren Swain was sentenced to six months in prison at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Friday.
Swain, 57, became aggressive and abusive to staff who were supervising a queue of shoppers at the Poundland store in Castleford, West Yorkshire, a CPS spokeswoman said.
It happened as the staff were allowing only a restricted number into the store at any one time to ensure social distancing.
“Swain attempted to jump the queue and, when prevented by staff, coughed theatrically into the air close to them and to nearby members of the public,” the spokeswoman said.
“He then gargled and spat in the direction of a female staff member, and laughed.
“When police officers arrived at the scene, he spat at them also.”
She said Swain was sentenced on Thursday after admitting common assault and common assault on emergency workers.
Gerry Wareham, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “Swain’s behaviour was both disgusting and dangerous.
“His actions potentially endangered not only members of the public who were patiently waiting their turn in the queue, but also the staff at Poundland, and the police officers who attended – all of whom were attempting to carry out their duties in challenging circumstances.
“Swain has now been sentenced to six months in prison. I hope this will act as a stern deterrent to anyone who is contemplating behaving in such a socially irresponsible manner.”