Racist yob ‘deserves’ jail sentence
Judges reject appeal by thug who threw punch and insults at hospital security guards
A 33-year-old West Drayton thug who struck out at a nurse and security staff in a racist attack in a hospital has been told by judges he deserved to be jailed.
Kevin John Pitchford hit a guard in the face and was racially abusive during the incident in the A&E of West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth.
Pitchford, of Pocock Avenue, was jailed for six months at Isleworth Crown Court in July, after he admitted charges of assault and raciallyaggravated harassment.
But he challenged the sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court as his lawyers argued his prison term should have been suspended so he could serve it in the community.
Pitchford’s lawyers said he was treated unfairly compared to his girlfriend, Charlie Sadgrove, who was also involved in the attack but was given a suspended sentence.
But his appeal was rejected by three of the most senior judges in the country, who said the nature of his abuse of the staff justified the jail time.
The couple were at the A&E ward on October 12 2014 after Pitchford had injured himself, when both became abusive towards a nurse.
Security were called, but were abused.
Pitchford said to two guards: “You f***ing Nigerians, don’t come close to me or I’ll kill you.”
He then punched one of them in the face, causing bruising to his cheekbone.
Security staff then attempted to restrain the pair, as Sadgrove yelled: “You can’t do this, I’m a lady.”
Mr Justice HaddonCave told the court Pitchford was shouting “in the most racist and abusive manner” before police arrived and arrested him and Sadgrove.
Sadgrove also admitted racially aggravated harassment, but was given themselves a suspended sentence for the offence.
Pitchford’s lawyers argued the difference in the couple’s sentences seemed to be because she was a woman and pregnant at the time.
But Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Pitchford threw a heavy punch during the incident and had a bad criminal record – two points which did not apply his girlfriend.
Sitting alongside Lady Justice Sharp and Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave added: “This was a particularly nasty incident involving terrible racial abuse of hospital staff.
“It was entirely disgraceful and courts will do their utmost to protect hospitals from this sort of conduct. An immediate sentence of six months was amply justified in the appellant’s case and in no view can it be considered manifestly excessive.”
The court did, however, reduce Pitchford’s sentence by 19 days, because of time he spent on electronic curfew while on remand.