A drunk patient who attacked a doctor and nurse was handed the maximum prison term as a sheriff branded him “disgraceful, appalling and abhorrent”.
Ian Clark was jailed for nine months for kicking a consultant, and spitting at him and a charge nurse, when they tried to stop him from smoking in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
Sheriff Thomas Hughes said: “You were acting disgracefully on the night in question by assaulting and obstructing those trying to help you.
“Your behaviour was quite abhorrent. These courts will always show full support to all emergency workers and you must be aware you should never assault or abuse them the way you did.
“Anyone in your position must be aware they will suffer severe consequences as a result of their behaviour. I will deal with it in the only way I can to show the abhorrence of the way you acted and will impose the maximum I can.
“It appears to be the case you don’t really accept any responsibility. In case you don’t know the seriousness of it I’m going to put it in context.
“What led you to A&E was that you had been drinking – half a bottle of whisky. You knocked your head and ended up in A&E because you couldn’t look after yourself.
“At the time, A&E staff were under considerable strain and stress because of the work they do looking after seriously ill patients.
“You were unco-operative and obstructed the consultant and charge nurse. Even more appallingly, you assaulted both of them.
“You kicked the consultant and spat towards him, which is an appalling thing to do. You also assaulted the nurse.
“The court has an obligation to these people to make sure they can go about their jobs in a safe environment and not be subject to violence and obstruction to the work they are trying to do to help society.”
Clark, 62, was given a 12-month maximum sentence reduced to nine months because he pled guilty at an early stage in the proceedings.
He admitted assaulting consultant Barry Klaassen in Ninewells Hospital on March 22, kicking the doctor and spitting at him. He also admitted trying to spit on charge nurse Jennifer Bailie.
Depute fiscal John Richardson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “The accused was admitted by ambulance to A & E, having been found intoxicated in the street with a head injury.”
Solicitor Ross Bennett, defending, said Clark had been stressed about the prospect of lockdown starting and had been taking a combination of medication and alcohol.