A taxi driver who died with Covid-19 was spat at by a fare-dodger who claimed he had the disease, according to his friend.
Trevor Belle, 61, began to feel unwell after the attack in Stratford, east London on 22 March, Damian Briggs said.
Described as a “jovial man who loved to laugh”, the grandfather died in the Royal London Hospital on 18 April.
“He spent three weeks battling it [coronavirus] and unfortunately didn’t make it to the end,” Mr Briggs said.
He added: “It’s devastating that he possibly caught it doing his job.”
‘Laugh and chuckle’
Mr Belle’s blood has been donated to research into the effects of Covid-19 in people from BAME communities.
Paying tribute to his friend, Mr Briggs said he would “always find a way to get a smile on your face”.
He added: “It was very rare you saw something that bothered this guy.
“No matter how bad it was, he always found a way to have a laugh and chuckle.”
It comes after a Tube passenger was spat at after intervening in a row between a man and ticket staff at Mile End station on Thursday.
The man had demanded that workers open a gate as he did not have a ticket for the barriers, according to a union official.
A search of the area was carried out by police, but the culprit was not found.
At the start of April Victoria station ticket office worker Belly Mujinga died from coronavirus, a few days after being spat at by a man claiming to be infected.
“Following the tragic story of Belly Mujinga and heightened fears over the highly contagious coronavirus, more must be done to prevent such horrendous acts of violence against transport workers and passengers,” said Lorraine Ward, TSSA official for London Underground.
“We’re redoubling our call for protective visors to be made available to all frontline transport workers across the rail, Tube and bus networks, as they provide a greater degree of protection from such acts.”