Woman said I have Covid and coughed on £25k worth of food in supermarket prank

A woman has been jailed after a "twisted prank" in which she coughed and spat on food whilst shouting that she had Covid-19.

Margaret Ann Cirko, the supposed super-spreader, plead guilty to a charge of weapons of mass destruction back in June.

On Tuesday the 37-year-old was handed a jail sentence of up to two years with an eight year probation after that.

A staggering $35,000 (£25,000) worth of produce had to be chucked after the incident in the Gerrity's supermarket in Pennsylvania's Hanover township.

In a Facebook post the supermarket's co-owner Joe Fasula wrote: "I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food.

"While it is always a shame when food is wasted, in these times when so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing."

He described Cirko's actions as a "twisted prank".

Cirko's attorney, Thomas Cometa, claimed that she had tested negative for Covid-19 but was intoxicated when the incident occident during the early weeks of the pandemic.

He also said that she had mental health and alcohol problems, adding: "It’s not an excuse but it is an explanation."

Cirko apologised in court on Tuesday, saying: "I wish I could take it back."

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However the court did not take sympathy on the prankster and ordered her to pay $30,000 in restitution along with her jail sentence. She was also ordered to undertake mental health and alcohol evaluations.

According to police, Cirko continued her spree across several aisles "before attempting to steal a 12-pack of beer as she was being ordered to leave".

Drew McLaughlin, assistant district attorney in Luzerne county, highlighted in court how Cirko's actions caused panic and fear as well as financial loss.

Fasula echoed these sentiments, explaining how "at the time, no one knew if the virus could spread on surfaces" and that employees feared for their safety.

Cirko is said to be a regular thorn in the side of local police. She was charged in a separate case in April after claiming to be a "child of god" and refusing to leave a church.

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