Mental health patient headbutted on ward
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.