A man has been jailed for six months for spitting at a nurse at a hospital on Merseyside.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that David Newton, 50, of Manor Road in Liscard, assaulted the nurse by spitting at her in the Emergency Department of Arrowe Park Hospital in the early hours of the morning on Thursday 2nd April 2020.
The staff nurse had just returned from her break at 1.15am hours and was monitoring the heart rate of Newton who, at the time, called himself ‘Michael Collins’.
When the nurse observed that Newton was spitting and coughing, she asked him to stop.
But Newton became aggressive and started to hurl verbal abuse at the nurse who was trying to look after him. He also began to kick out towards her.
Newton then jumped off the trolley and immediately started to kick chairs and a bin in the unit while continuing to cough and spit in the direction of the nurse.
At the time, the nurse did not have any personal protective clothing on, and she did not know if Newton had an infectious disease or not.
The nurse’s manager called security, and the police were also called.
Newton was escorted out of the emergency department by the police and hospital security as he continued to kick out.
He was subsequently charged with assaulting an emergency worker. On Friday 3rd April Newton pleaded guilty to the charges at Wirral Magistrates’ Court and was immediately sent to prison for six months.
He was also ordered to pay £300 in compensation.
Alan Currums, of CPS Mersey-Cheshire said:
“This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable at any time, but in the current coronavirus situation, it is even more dangerous.
“Mr Newton chose to lash out, cough and spit in close proximity to a key NHS worker, with no thought at all for the distress and possible health problems he was causing her.
“This nurse told police that she was worried enough about coming into work in the current pandemic without being spat at.
“Newton also attacked security guards at the hospital and the police officers who arrested him.
“District Judge James Clarke has given this man an immediate jail term – so within hours of committing this offence, Newton is behind bars.
“This sort of behaviour will never be tolerated, but in the current coronavirus outbreak, it is deplorable.
“The Crown Prosecution Service will work with the police to bring people committing similar offences to justice.”