Inmate attacked prison officer on Christmas Eve - then trashed room and threatened staff at Sunderland psychiatric hospital

An inmate attacked a prison officer then issued chilling threats to staff at a psychiatric hospital where he caused almost £5,000 in damage and racially abused a police officer.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 10:48 am
Jordan Barnes

Jordan Barnes assaulted a custody officer at HMP Northumberland, where he was being held on Christmas Eve last year for burglary and theft, and threw "punches at his head".

After being admitted to Hopewood Park mental health hospital in Waterworks Road, Ryhope, the 35-year-old, who has convictions for 166 previous offences, "almost destroyed" a seclusion room at the facility and caused just under £5,000 worth of damage.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during his admission, the police were called when Barnes armed himself with a razor blade and he subjected an officer to "foul racist abuse".

Jordan Barnes

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The court heard he then told one member of nursing staff he would wait for her outside and "smash her face in" and told another he would "get her" and she would "see what happens" once he was released.

Both women workers felt afraid for their safety.

Barnes, of no fixed address but from Sunderland, admitted assault on an emergency worker, racially aggravated harassment, criminal damage and public order offences.

The court heard Barnes was initially assessed by probation officials to post a "high risk of causing serious harm and that risk was imminent and unmanageable in the community."

But Judge Julie Clemitson told him a medical professional had deemed his mental health a factor.

She said: “A doctor now says you were suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offences which reduced your culpability. He also said, if you remain compliant with medication you are a low risk of re-offending and a further report from probation adopts that."

Judge Clemitson sentenced Barnes, who had been remanded in custody, to a community order for two years with mental health treatment and rehabilitation requirements.

Barnes was given a restraining order to prevent him approaching the hospital staff outside the unit.