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Hospital crisis worker “feared for her life” as patient turned aggressive

Carlisle Crown Court

A COURT has heard how a crisis worker at the West Cumberland Hospital was left scared and fearing for her life when a patient turned aggressive.

John Ian Pullin, 32, was admitted to the accident and emergency department during the early hours of November 12. He was seen and assessed by a female crisis practitioner, who assessed Pullin and was told by him he was homeless and needed somewhere “safe” to live.

But when the worker told Pullin he would not be admitted to a mental health hospital because he was not deemed a risk to himself or others, his mood “completely changed”, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Pullin wrapped a bed sheet around his hands, approached the woman and shouted at her aggressively with “gritted teeth”. “She said she feared for her safety and her life,” said prosecutor Gerard Rogerson.

“She was scared she was going to be assaulted and was afraid violence was going to be used against her. In all the years doing her job she has never been as scared as she was then.”

Police were called after the woman left the hospital room. Pullin continued to be aggressive when officers arrived but calmed down when told he would be locked up for the night.

In court he admitted a charge of assaulting an emergency worker.

After reading a risk management report and noting the defendant’s past bad behaviour, Judge Peter Davies opted to defer passing sentence until February.

Judge Davies remanded Pullin in custody, and said he would decide on a punishment based on the defendant’s behaviour in the meantime.

“If I get a good report about you, I am going to give you a community order rather than a longer custodial sentence. I hope I am not being too optimistic,” said Judge Davies.

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