Man jailed for attacking six people at Doncaster hospital

“Assaults on emergency workers will be treated seriously by the courts,” said a judge as he jailed a man for attacking six people at Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department.

By Sarah Marshall
Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 8:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 8:37 am
The incident took place at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley
The incident took place at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley

Gavin Parkinson’s onslaught of violence began after he was admitted to Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department on the morning of November 10, 2017. 

Prosecutor, Laura Marshall, told Sheffield Crown Court that Parkinson’s first victim was a staff nurse who he swore at before becoming aggressive and violent. 

The incident took place at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley

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Parkinson, aged 38, then twisted the arm of a second nurse who tried to intervene after she witnessed the altercation. 

“Another hospital worker attempted to intervene, and he punched her in the arm and kicked her in the leg,” said Ms Marshall. 

Parkinson ran out of the hospital into the car park and was found located by two security guards. 

“He grabbed one of the security guards by the shoulders, and headbutted him, and as a result he pushed the defendant with an open palm...the defendant punched the security guard,” said Ms Marshall. 

The court was told how Parkinson began spitting at the two security guards and at the two police officers who arrived a short time later. 

Ms Marshall described how Parkinson spat a mixture of saliva and blood into the mouth of one of the two attending officers. 

Parkinson was eventually restrained after more officers were called, and his abusive behaviour continued after his arrest. 

Victim personal statements from seven of the people who were involved in the incident in a professional capacity were read to the court. 

One of the nurses Parkinson assaulted said: “In my job as a nurse you expect some abuse...but I’ve never heard the likes of this in my career.”

Parkinson, who has a number of previous convictions on his record including assault, threatening behaviour and robbery, pleaded guilty to affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at an earlier hearing. 

Amy Earnshaw, defending, said Parkinson had a degenerative eye condition that had led to him being registered as ‘legally blind’ and undergone surgery on his eye.

Ms Earnshaw claimed that Parkinson did not receive adequate medical care during a recent custodial sentence he served for escaping prison, and as a consequence his condition had deteriorated further. 

“It’s clear from the general practitioner that deals with Mr Parkinson he has very real concerns that his condition can’t be managed in a prison environment,” she said, and urged Judge Graham Reeds QC not to sentence Parkinson to an immediate prison sentence so he could receive the medical treatment he needs.  

Ms Earnshaw told the court that Parkinson had drunk heavily the day before he committed the offences, because of his ‘inability to cope’ with a recent diagnosis concerning his eye condition, and could not remember what had happened.  

Judge Reeds said a medical examination conducted soon after Parkinson’s release from prison last year revealed that his condition had not significantly deteriorated during his time in prison; adding that whilst his condition had become worse since his release he did not accept Ms Earnshaw’s assertion that Parkinson would not be ‘properly cared for in prison’. 

Judge Reeds said he felt able to send Parkinson to prison, and jailed him for 18 months. 

“This case should send a clear message that assaults on hospital workers and other emergency staff will be treated seriously by the courts.

“Your counsel was instructed to mitigate that you had been drinking on the night before, and say you couldn’t remember what happened.

“But your victims, all six of them, will remember.”