Rampton patient punched nurse out of phone call frustration

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Rampton patient launched a flurry of blows at a nurse and tried to bite him when he became frustrated because his private phone call was being overheard, a court heard.

Martin Fleming abruptly ended the phone call to his family on Aintree Ward, at 2.45pm, on December 7, last year, then called the male nurses “b*******” and shouted: “You are depriving me of your liberty.”

He hit one nurse four or five times in the torso and back, said prosecutor Robert Carr, and ripped the man’s shirt.

“He appeared to be trying to bite the nurse,” Mr Carr said. “Other members of staff put on special gloves to hold his head and subdue him and he was moved to a secure location.”

The nurse was left with bruising and a cut to the nose. He was concerned because Fleming had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, but a test proved negative.

Fleming was last in court in October, last year, for assault.

Harry Bevan, mitigating, said Fleming admitted the assault on the basis that is was only one punch and he denied trying to bite the nurse.

He said Fleming is on an indefinite hospital order, and has been in mental health institutions since 2006.

He said his family, who live in Southampton, were unable to visit because of their age, and although other patients were entitled to private calls, Fleming had to be supervised.

“On this occasion there were four members of staff present during what was a private call,” Mr Bevan said, adding Fleming had been treated for Hepatitis C, and was now free of it.

“This was an offence that was borne of frustration,” he said.

Magistrates ordered Fleming to pay £50 compensation to the nurse.