Man jailed for spitting at nurse
A man has been jailed for six months for spitting at a nurse at a hospital on Merseyside.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that David Newton, 50, of Manor Road in Liscard, assaulted the nurse by spitting at her in the Emergency Unit of Arrowe Park Hospital in the early hours of Thursday 2 April 2020.
The staff nurse had just come back from her break at 1.15am and was monitoring the heart rate of a man calling himself Michael Collins.
She then heard him coughing and spitting and asked him to stop but he started kicking out and swearing at her. He jumped off the trolley and started to kick the chairs and bin in the unit and continued to cough and spit in the direction of the nurse, who didn’t have protective equipment and did not know whether he had an infectious disease. The nurse’s manager eventually called security and the police.
Mr Newton was taken out of the unit by the police but continued to kick out at security guards.
He was charged with assaulting an emergency worker, pleaded guilty at Wirral Magistrates’ Court today (3 April 2020) and was given an immediate jail term of six months and 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."
Notes to editors
- Alan Currums is an Associate Prosecutor with CPS Mersey-Cheshire