ABUSIVE, DRUNKEN MAN ASSAULTED NURSE
11:00 - 27 May 2004
A Man who assaulted a nurse at the Royal United Hospital has escaped a jail sentence. The nurse, working in the casualty department, was elbowed in the chest by 21-year-old Paul Hicks as he was being escorted off the hospital's premises.
Hicks had gone to the RUH on April 8 for treatment to a cut on his right hand.
But after he was abusive to staff, doctors refused to treat him.
Yesterday at Bath Magistrates Court Hicks was given a two-year community rehabilitation order.
He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to the nurse, Neil Brook.
Magistrates were advised that assaulting medical staff could carry a prison sentence and, if there had been prolonged violence, Hicks was told he would certainly have been sent into custody.
Prosecuting, Paul Ricketts said Hicks, of Queen's Drive, went to the RUH at around 2am.
Mr Brook heard him using abusive language and saw him flicking blood on to the floor while he was waiting in a treatment room in the A &E department.
A doctor also heard the foul language, but when he tried to treat Hicks, he was also verbally abused.
"Mr Hicks spoke to the doctor in a loud and aggressive manner. The defendant was verbally abusive to staff and the doctor was not prepared to treat him, so he was discharged," said Mr Ricketts.
"As the defendant was being escorted from the premises he continued to use foul language and he struck out with his elbow, striking nurse Brook in the chest."
The court heard that Hicks was drunk during the incident after consuming three-quarters of a bottle of Bacardi rum
Mr Ricketts said the nurse's injuries were not serious, although there was some bruising to his chest.
He added: "Reading from Mr Brook's statement he states: 'I feel extremely shaken at present and angry at the man's behaviour'."
In his defence, Aidan Woods said Hicks had shown remorse and had expressed 'deep regret' for his actions.
He pleaded with the court not to send Hicks to prison, as it would mean he could lose his job and his girlfriend, which help to keep him out of trouble.
Mr Woods added: "He is still a young man who has clearly had problems with alcohol.
"If he is sent to prison the chance to address anger management will be lost."