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Man Threatens Hospital Staff in Brighton: Caught & Sentenced

In a harrowing event at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, Joshua Byrne, 32, has been sentenced after threatening hospital staff with a knife in the Accident and Emergency department. The incident, which caused widespread alarm, saw Byrne wielding a knife and making threats against staff and patients, including a moment where he lunged at a security guard with the weapon.

The situation escalated when Byrne forcibly took a mobile phone from a patient and made a threatening gesture towards a nurse with the knife. Thankfully, due to the swift response of the hospital’s security team and the intervention of PC Greg Devlin and PC Max Setra from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU), who used a Taser to subdue Byrne, no one was seriously injured.

The court heard how the hospital staff displayed remarkable bravery and professionalism during the ordeal, managing to keep patients and the public safe. Her Honour Judge Christine Laing KC commended the staff and the RPU officers for their actions during the sentencing at Lewes Crown Court on February 20.

Byrne, who is unemployed and resides in Ingram Crescent East, Hove, pleaded guilty to several charges, including attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and affray. He has been handed a five-year prison sentence, with an additional three-year extended licence period.

Joshua Byrne carried the knife at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Photo – Sussex Police

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Rachel Carr said: “The actions of the hospital staff and security was incredible that night.

“It was a distressing incident for everyone in the hospital, but the staff’s professional actions ensured vulnerable patients were protected.

“Byrne’s actions were highly reckless, putting his own safety and the safety of everyone else at risk.

“He was swiftly arrested, and we are pleased that a dangerous criminal has now been sentenced.”

Chief Inspector Simon Yates, Sussex Police’s force lead for knife crime and serious violence, said: “We know that there is increased concern from the public about knife crime.

“Stories in the media and social media can increase these concerns and can lead some individuals to arm themselves with a knife in a misguided attempt to protect themselves.

“Sadly it is becoming commonplace for police officers to encounter weapons such as hunting knives and concealed weapons which have been purchased online, with few, if any, checks to prevent them being used in crime.

“We know that knife crime can destroy the lives of those impacted, their families and loved ones, and our communities.

“Those who carry them often don’t appreciate this impact, and don’t appreciate that by carrying a knife, they are far more likely to become a victim of knife crime themselves.

“It is a priority of Sussex Police to tackle knife crime and serious violence, to educate people about knife safety, and to work with partners to reduce knife crime and fear of knife crime to keep our communities safe.”

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