Men­tal health pa­tient head­but­ted on ward

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A PA­TIENT in a men­tal health hos­pi­tal head­but­ted an­other man on the ward af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion in the cor­ri­dor.

Ash­ley Paul Shaw, 29, ap­proached the vic­tim at Soss Moss men­tal health ward, on Chelford Road, at Nether Alder­ley, and im­i­tated the way he spoke, a court heard.

When the vic­tim asked if he was mock­ing him, the de­fen­dant de­nied he was and head­but­ted him in the face, ‘like he was head­but­ting a foot­ball’, giv­ing him a cut lip and loose tooth.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Tina Cun­nane, said: “The vic­tim has learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and men­tal health prob­lems. He says the de­fen­dant makes fun of the way he walks and talks and feels that he’s be­ing tar­geted as he has learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.

“The de­fen­dant was in the cor­ri­dor and said ‘al­right’, mock­ing his voice. The vic­tim said ‘are you tak­ing the p**s?’ The de­fen­dant said ‘no’ be­fore head­but­ting him in the face.

“He then pulled his fist back to at­tack him be­fore staff in­ter­vened.

“[The vic­tim] said he tries to avoid the de­fen­dant on the ward now. He doesn’t feel safe on the ward any more and it makes his para­noia and voices worse.

“CCTV shows them in the cor­ri­dor. Words were ex­changed and he head­but­ted him as if he was head­but­ting a foot­ball.”

Shaw said in in­ter­view that he made a joke to Mr Davies and at­tacked be­cause he felt threat­ened, but ad­mit­ted that he should have walked away.

He pleaded guilty to com­mon as­sault on Novem­ber 15, 2016.

Pros­e­cu­tors ar­gue it was a hate crime and that the vic­tim was tar­geted due to his learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, but de­fend­ing Shaw, Shirley Fit­ton de­nied this.

Miss Fit­ton said: “We do not ac­cept it was tar­geted and a hate crime.

“He made a joke, the vic­tim didn’t take it as a joke and that led him to head­butt the vic­tim.

“There was some fear that the vic­tim was go­ing to at­tack him but he ac­cepts he went far too far.

“This hap­pened in Novem­ber and both par­ties have stayed in the same unit and there have been no fur­ther prob­lems. He may think that he’s been tar­geted but it was not out of any sort of hate.”

Shaw was bailed un­til June 2 for a ‘newton hear­ing’ when a judge will hear ar­gu­ments from the pros­e­cu­tion and de­fence to de­cide if it was a hate crime, be­fore Shaw is sen­tenced.

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