Former patient jailed for threatening nursing assistant at Doncaster psychiatric hospital with 'rusty knife'

A former patient who threatened a nursing assistant at a Doncaster psychiatric hospital with a ‘rusty knife’ has been locked up.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 10:58 am
Christopher Wilkinson has been jailed for 12 months, following an incident at St Catherine's Hospital in which he threatened a nursing assistant with a 'rusty knife'. Picture: South Yorkshire Police

The incident took place at around 6.30am on August 12 this year, after a nursing assistant at St Catherine’s Hospital in Tickhill Road, Balby was alerted to a disturbance outside involving some dog walkers and defendant, Christopher Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, 44, is known to a number of members of staff at the hospital due to him being a former patient, and sleeping rough in the grounds of the hospital, said Neil Coxon, prosecuting.

The nursing assistant went outside to speak with Wilkinson, of no fixed abode, and told him he knew he was ‘not allowed on the grounds,’ Sheffield Crown Court heard.

The incident took place in the grounds of St Catherine's Hospital, Doncaster in August this year. Picture: rossparry.co.uk / Tom Maddick

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Mr Coxon said: “He made threats towards him, and told him: ‘I’m going to smack you; I’m going to have you; I will kill you’.

“Initially he didn’t think anything of it. His position changed when he saw the defendant had a rusty knife. The defendant lunged towards him. He feared for his safety and ran back to the hospital.”

The incident was subsequently reported to the police.

In a statement read to the court, the nursing assistant said he kept thinking about what would have happened if there had not been a hedge in-between him and Wilkinson, effectively acting as a buffer.

“The incident has shook me up a little bit. I thought I had a good rapport with Christopher. I feel lucky to have walked away un-hurt,” he said.

Mr Coxon told the court that at the time of this incident, Wilkinson was the subject of a 24-week suspended sentence that was passed in June this year over his failure to register his address at a police station, which put him in breach of his sex offender notification requirements for a second time.

The court was told how Wilkinson was placed onto the sex offenders’ register after he was convicted of voyeurism, relating to an incident at Doncaster Dome in which he surreptitiously watched a mother and her two daughters, aged six and 10, while they were in a changing room cubicle adjacent to his.

He was jailed for six weeks for this offence.

Wilkinson pleaded guilty to charges of threatening a person with an article with a blade or point and using threatening words or behaviour at an earlier hearing, in relation to the incident at St Catherine’s Hospital.

Oliver Thorne, defending, said: “It appears he has been living rough in the grounds of St Catherine’s Hospital for several years, maybe since he was last a patient five years ago.”

“This was clearly a man who was clearly having a very difficult period. He has a very difficult life full stop on that morning,” said Mr Thorne, adding that Wilkinson did not bring the knife to the scene with the intention of having an argument, but rather it was something he carries with him for day-to-day use while he is sleeping rough.

Judge Graham Reeds QC jailed Wilkinson for 12 months, five months of which was the activation of his suspended sentence.

“Mental health staff are entitled to protection from the courts,” said Judge Reeds, adding that such staff members are vulnerable because of their ‘position of trust’ with patients.

- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Wilkinson