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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Barrow man attacks nurse at hospital

A HOSPITAL trust has warned it will not tolerate violence against its staff after a drunk reveller went before the courts for attacking a nurse.

Liam Richard Watts punched clinical support worker Jay Watson in the chest while he was being treated in A&E at Furness General Hospital on December 7.

Watts appeared at Furness Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, said the 21-year-old had been found drunk outside the King’s Arms in Barrow and had complained of being in pain. Mr Appleby said police took Watts to the Barrow hospital where he had also sworn at Mr Watson.

The court was told there was no lasting injury to Mr Watson.

Watts, of Abbotsmead Approach, Barrow, had pleaded not guilty to assault by beating, but later admitted the offence.

Mr Appleby said Watts had told police he had drunk half a litre of whisky and several pints.

Defending, Ms Maureen Fawcett said it was accepted the defendant had been under the influence of alcohol and that Watts has had problems with living arrangements and mental health issues.

District judge Gerald Chalk sentenced Watts to 90 days in prison, suspended for 12 months. Watts was ordered to pay £200 compensation to Mr Watson and £85 costs.

The judge told Watts he was going to send him straight to prison but he had no previous convictions for violence and he was giving him one chance.

He said: “It’s appalling. You assaulted someone who tried to assist you, a vulnerable person because of their employment.”

Dan Willis, local security management specialist for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, said: “It is appalling someone whose work involves treating people who are ill and saving lives on a daily basis should be the subject of an assault. “Our hospitals are places of safety and this sentence sends a very clear message we will not tolerate any behaviour of this kind and will seek to prosecute in every case.”

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