A burly patient who punched a nurse after being refused a cup of coffee in the early hours of the morning has been jailed for seven months.
Norman Duncan cracked a temporary metal plate in his victim’s mouth by punching him in an unprovoked attack at Murray Royal Hospital.
Duncan was a prisoner serving a sentence at Peterhead Prison, but had been moved to the psychiatric hospital because of concerns about his behaviour.
He admitted assaulting and injuring nurse Muir Turnbull by punching him on the head at the hospital in Perth on October 14 2018.
Fiscal depute Tina Dickie told Perth Sheriff Court: “It was 2.30am and Muir Turnbull and other staff were outside the accused’s door.
“The accused was under 24-hour constant observation. The accused asked Mr Turnbull if he could have a coffee.
“He was told he could not get coffee because of the time of night and was offered some milk. The accused agreed and was initially calm.
“His behaviour changed when the door to his room was opened. Without warning he walked towards Mr Turnbull and punched him on the right side of his jaw.
“Mr Turnbull had a temporary plate in his mouth and that suffered a slight crack from the punch. He declined medical attention and continued his shift.”
Solicitor John Ferrie, defending, said Duncan, 40, from Aberdeen, had been going through a difficult period while he was serving a sentence.
Mr Ferrie said: “He had been taken from Peterhead prison where he had locked himself away behind a door. I visited him in Murray Royal.
“I was shocked when I saw the state he was in. It was difficult to understand what he was saying, he was emotional and all over the place.
“It was an extremely difficult time for him, but that is not a reason for acting the way he did.”
Sheriff Gillian Wade told Duncan she had no alternative but to send him to prison for seven months.