Wiltshire Police have launched an appeal for witnesses after a blind woman was coughed on in Melksham.

At 6pm on Saturday, April 4, the victim, aged in her 50s was walking with her guide dog on Halifax Road in Melksham.

A police spokesman said: “Her guide dog indicated that a person was nearby so the victim shouted that she couldn’t socially distance as she was unable to see and asked the person to keep their distance.”

The person then approached the victim and coughed in her face.

Sgt David Hambly said: “Especially due to the current climate, the victim felt especially anxious and shocked by this person’s actions and immediately went home and washed her face and hands.

“This is completely unacceptable behaviour and we are treating this as an incident of hate crime – the suspect, in this case, has shown complete disregard for this woman’s health and vulnerabilities and I know members of the local community will be both saddened and disappointed to hear of this person’s actions.

“Unfortunately, we do not have a description of the suspect, but we would urge anyone who may have seen this interaction to get in touch – do you live in Halifax Road? Do you have CCTV fitted to your property? Or were you driving in the area with a dashcam fitted to your vehicle? If so, you may have captured footage of the suspect so please do call us on 101 and quote crime reference number 54200032878.”

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.