Retford: Patient spat in face of nurse in row over TV

Guardian in court logo
Guardian in court logo

A patient at Rampton Hospital spat in a nurse’s face after becoming agitated when a day room for watching television was briefly opened and then shut.

Scott Trevor Hayes, 34, admitted assaulting nurse Jodie Burton on 2nd December last year, Mansfield Magistrates’ Court heard.

Patients had been allowed briefly into the day room, but then it was closed because of staffing levels, said Jamie Nelson in mitigation.

He said: “Mr Hayes was upset and he started walking towards the rotunda area, shouting.”

“He wanted to go back to his bedroom but was not allowed to. He continued to shout as other staff arrived.”

“He backed away and ended up with his back against the wall. Six members of staff arrived. Staff grabbed hold of him even though he wasn’t offering violence.”

“He lashed out in self-defence because he was in a bit of fear.”

“At this point his trousers and underpants fell down exposing his bottom half.”

One of the patients thought Mr Hayes was being abused and lost control of his bladder.

Mr Nelson said Mr Hayes spent several days in seclusion before returning to the ward. He had been transferred there from a high dependency unit.

The court heard that Mr Hayes’ medication, which had allowed him to make progress, had been stopped. His psychiatrist said this directly contributed to the incident.

Mr Nelson said: “It will set him back a year before he can transfer out of Rampton to a lower restriction hospital.”

“Normally patients are allowed to go their bedroom when they ask.”

“He was given a care plan so that when he is agitated he should have been allowed to go back to his bedroom.”

District Judge Diana Baker told Mr Hayes via video-link: “You don’t accept exactly what the prosecution said, but you do accept that what you did amounted to an assault.”

“I am not prepared to give an absolute discharge because that is only given to someone who is entirely blameless.”

“The prosecution doesn’t accept what you say is correct but I’m prepared to sentence you on that basis.”

“When you assault anyone who is a nurse or a member of staff at Rampton that is very serious because it is a breach of trust. Spitting at them is disgusting.

“They don’t know whether you have any diseases that could be transferred.”

“I am sure you will stay out of trouble for 12 months so you can transfer to a lower restriction hospital.”

Hayes was ordered to pay £85 costs, a victim surcharge of £15 and compensation of £200.