Hospital order for man who attacked nurse
AMENTAL health patient who put his hand around the throat of a hospital nurse has been given a hospital order to protect the public.
The man from Claytonle-Moors, was on the Pendle View Ward at Royal Blackburn Hospital waiting for a bed when he tried to strangle the woman and threatened to kill her, Preston Crown Court heard.
The 23-year-old had been brought in for assessment under the Mental Health Act after absconding from his supported living accommodation on February 10.
The court heard that he was found on a bridge over a canal in a ‘very distressed and agitated’ state.
Defence barrister Rachel Woods said there were ‘concerns he may attempt to take his own life’ and the defendant had ‘thoughts of self-harm, suicide, anxious and seemed paranoid about food and drinks’.
He was taken to hospital on February 11 and was waiting for a bed to become available when he attacked the nurse on the ward.
The court heard how he put his hands around her throat and ‘squeezed’ and the attack, which was captured on CCTV, only stopped when other staff came to her aid.
Judge Heather Lloyd ruled that he was not fit to plead and the jury were tasked with determining the facts of the case.
He was found not guilty of attempted murder and found guilty of ABH under disability. Ms Woods said there had been a ‘deterioration in his mental health’ between 2011 and 2018 and he had previously been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
The court was told that in December 2017 he was taken to hospital because of concerns he had been threatening to harm himself.
He also had ‘obsessional traits and potential eating disorder’.
On January 10 he said he ‘reported hearing voices and someone asking him to end his life’.
Dr Matthew Appleyard, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, said he was suffering from delusional beliefs, ‘command hallucinations’ and had a ‘treatment resistant psychosis’.
The court heard that he has also recently threatened to kill his father and felt ‘ everybody including the court system is against him’.
In a victim impact statement, the nurse said she was forced to take time off work and told how the attack had ‘ knocked her confidence’ and that she found herself ‘breaking down and crying’.
Judge Lloyd said it was ‘abundantly clear’ that the nurse had ‘suffered significantly’ and at the time of the offence he was ‘severely mentally ill’.
Sentencing the defendant to a hospital order with a restriction order, she said: “There’s a risk of him committing further offences if at large and it is necessary for the protection of the public to impose a restriction order.”