Drunken patient Benjamin Fawcett lashed out at Scarborough Hospital staff and spat in the face of security guard

A drunken patient ran amok at Scarborough Hospital, assaulting staff and security officers and leaving a trail of blood in the corridors.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 4:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 6:02 pm

Benjamin Fawcett, 33, had been admitted to hospital for a head injury, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Rob Stephenson said staff summoned security guards to deal with Fawcett who was “lashing out” on a hospital bed.

Benjamin Fawcett

“He was trying to get up and leave the A&E (department),” said Mr Stephenson. “He was shouting and swearing … and making threats to staff.”

As Fawcett tried to leave, security officers blocked his path and restrained him, whereupon Fawcett spat in the face of one of the guards.

Fawcett was given some medication to curb his “vile” behaviour and calm him down. A doctor then sent Fawcett for a CT scan on his head which only led to more chaos.

“He was compliant during the scan but when (he was) transferred back to bed, the defendant simply flipped and started lashing out, striking (the doctor) to the jaw,” added Mr Stephenson.

About half an hour later, Fawcett was taken back to the x-ray department where he again started lashing out at staff before ripping out a surgical tube and “walking around the radiology department while bleeding, leaving a trail of blood around the corridors”.

Staff had to mop up the mess after Fawcett’s 15-minute walkabout. When he had sufficiently calmed down again, he was taken back for a CT scan.

But on the way back to A&E he started pushing staff including a security officer and demanded to leave the hospital.

When staff explained they had to keep him in because of the head injury and his drunken state, he made a run for the exit.

Staff made a “link” with their arms to stop him, at which point police turned up to arrest him. While Fawcett was being handcuffed, he kicked an officer in the face, causing pain but no injury.

He was taken into custody where he spat at a cell wall, the door and spyhole, before pouring toilet water around the room.

“The cell had to be cleaned at a cost of £52.80,” said Mr Stephenson.

The incidents occurred on June 2 last year, when Fawcett was “intoxicated” despite it being early in the afternoon.

He was charged with three counts of assaulting emergency workers and criminal damage. Despite the stack of evidence against him, Fawcett denied all charges and was due to face trial on Monday, but admitted all charges at the last minute and appeared for sentence on Tuesday.

Fawcett, formerly of Scarborough but now living in Medina Avenue, Bridlington, had a track record for violence, including robbery, batteries, affray and causing grievous bodily harm which led to two previous prison spells.

His latest offences were in breach of a conditional discharge imposed in May 2018 for assault.

Defence barrister Victoria Smithswain said Fawcett, who was in employment, had just split up from his girlfriend before his rampage in the hospital and had a drink problem.

“The defendant did not handle that breakdown very well,” she added. “He started binge-drinking as a coping strategy.

“He is now addressing his drinking (and) he recognises that that is an underlying factor in his behaviour.”

But judge Simon Hickey branded Fawcett’s behaviour a “disgraceful episode” and said that for attacks on public servants such as doctors, police officers and hospital staff there could only be one outcome.

Jailing Fawcett for eight months, Mr Hickey cited the defendant’s record and the effect his loutish behaviour must have had not only on hospital staff but also other patients in a busy hospital.

Fawcett was also ordered to pay £52.80 compensation for damaging the police cell.