A MOTHER-OF-TWO from Abergavenny who says she was taunted by a man who said he had coronavirus says she now can’t visit her own vulnerable mother.

Dianne Bugler said she was walking along Llanfoist Canal near the Blorenge at around 1.30pm on Sunday, January 17, when a man came “very close” to her, removed a tissue from the front of his mouth, and told her he had coronavirus.

Ms Bugler, who hasn’t had coronavirus and has been careful to social distance throughout the pandemic so she can visit her mother – who is part of her bubble - says she has since struggled mentally with the impact of the incident, and has decided to not visit her mother in case the man gave her Covid.

She said: “I was walking down the canal and two men started approaching me. One had a tissue scrunched up in his hand.

“He came right at me and removed it and whispered he had Covid, before just walking on.

“I’m not usually a quiet person but I was stunned into silence.

“I thought about chasing after him because I was so ashamed I let him do that to me without saying anything.”


Ms Bugler, who says there didn’t at first appear to be anything out of the ordinary about the man, says she has since shared her experiences on social media, and another woman has said she had an almost identical experience at the canal on Sunday, January 10.

“I think it needs to be raised because this can’t keep happening to women in the area,” she added. “Mentally it has really hit me. On Sunday night I felt like an idiot. I almost felt guilty I had not challenged him.

“But the worst thing is not being able to see my mother for a while now, who is 76. I’m concerned I’ve got the virus and concerned for the health of my family. I wish he had thought about his actions and the impact it would have.”

A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said: “At approximately 1.30pm on January 17 a woman reported that she was walking along the canal bank in Llanfoist when a man leant towards her and claimed to have Covid-19. No physical contact was made and the man didn’t cough/sneeze etc.

“We have advised the victim to report any further incidents of this nature if she believes an offence has occurred and would reiterate that people should follow the Welsh Government guidelines with regards to restrictions currently in place, and ensure social distancing is maintained at all times.”