Drunken man spat at A&E nurse during rampage inside Scarborough Hospital
A man has been jailed after causing pandemonium at Scarborough Hospital and spitting at an A&E nurse during the Covid crisis.
Tyler Atkinson, 19, flew into an expletive-ridden rage in which he attacked the nurse who was caring for him, threw items including a trolley around a cubicle and damaged property, York Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Michael Bosomworth said Atkinson had been taken into A&E after being found in the street practically “comatose” after downing two bottles of whisky.
Atkinson had been kept in hospital overnight during which he was “disruptive and argumentative” and swearing at hospital staff.
He blew his top when the nurse told him his mother wouldn’t be able to pick him up, whereupon Atkinson “threw items around the cubicle he was in, including a trolley and a cardboard sick bowl”.
He then stormed out of the cubicle and tried to get out of the hospital but ended up walking towards a restricted-access room, inside which were two “very poorly” patients.
The nurse, wearing a facemask, managed to block his way but Atkinson hurled a volley of abuse at her and then spat at her.
A porter restrained Atkinson and a security guard was called. Atkinson, who was threatening to spit at the guard, tried to get away through some double doors that were locked but which he wrenched open, causing about £50 damage. Police were called and he was arrested.
Atkinson, of Beckside, Beverley, was charged with assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage. He admitted both offences and appeared for sentence via video link on Friday.
Mr Bosomworth said the hospital had to close one of the booths for a deep clean following the spitting incident and there was concern for the nurse who would have “feared for her safety at a time of Covid”.
He said Atkinson had also urinated on the floor during the “altercation” with the security guard.
Atkinson had previous convictions for offences including shoplifting and threatening behaviour. In December last year, he was given a 14-month jail sentence at Hull Crown Court for disorderly behaviour, damaging property and attempted shoplifting – offences committed a month before the incidents in the hospital, when he was apparently on bail.
Michael Masson, for Atkinson, conceded that the teenager’s behaviour had been “absolutely disgraceful”.
He said Atkinson had no recollection of the incidents and he had apologised to police when he realised what he had done.
He said Atkinson had been “grappling with an addiction to alcohol” and been evicted from his home, leaving him homeless.
“He found himself drinking one to two bottles of vodka a day,” added Mr Masson.
“On the day in question, he had consumed about two bottles of Jack Daniels whisky.”
Judge Sean Morris told Atkinson: “You’ve gone off the rails. Something has gone awry, and in your case it’s drink.”
The judge added: “These are very serious offences indeed. What you did was get yourself out of your head on alcohol and you were comatose.
“Emergency services rushed to your (aid) and you were taken to hospital (where) you were violent, abusive, disgusting. You spat at a nurse in this present climate of Covid-19.
“Anybody who kicks off in a hospital or with any emergency workers will always go to prison.”
Atkinson was given a five-month jail sentence, which will run consecutive to the 14-month prison term he is currently serving.