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Duo sentenced for assaulting West Cumberland Hospital staff in separate incidents

Mark Folden

TWO people who assaulted West Cumberland Hospital staff during separate incidents in different areas have been sentenced and criticised by a judge.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how two porters sprang into action to help a woman “trying to hang herself” after she attended the accident and emergency department on February 9.

As attempts were made to release her from a makeshift noose, her boyfriend, 42-year-old Mark Oscar Folden, grabbed one porter and was aggressive to another. He then struck a nurse, who later said: “This incident has made me wary of dealing with patients. I don’t deserve to come to work and be assaulted by people we are trying to help.”

In the aftermath, Folden, of Irving Street, Workington, conceded his offending – committed against a backdrop of acute mental health problems – was “pathetic”. He hadn’t been trying to prevent the porters offering help, his barrister insisted.

Folden admitted three emergency worker assault charges, and received an 18-month community order comprising rehabilitation plus a £360 fine.

“These people, simple put, do not deserve to be treated in this way,” Judge Nicholas Barker told him. “It is not acceptable to those who work in our care system.”

Judge Barker had earlier sentenced 31-year-old Lisa Currie, of Holmewood Road, Whitehaven. Currie lashed out at a Yewdale Ward nurse at the hospital on June 13, and was prosecuted having been involved in six previous incidents which had given staff concerns.

Judge Barker gave Currie a two-year conditional discharge after hearing mitigation, but warned: “You are in danger of finding yourself in a situation where people simply won’t help you. And why should they if the result of their assistance and kindness is to be assaulted by you?”

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