Man spared jail for attacking two Sunderland Royal Hospital medics and spitting at police officer

A Sunderland lout has been spared jail after attacking two hospital workers and spitting on a policeman.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:55 am

Terrence Henderson, 40, was told by Deputy District Judge Arlegh Davies a previous brain injury caused by a beating was the main cause of him maintaining his liberty.

The judge was told that homeless Henderson punched a staff nurse on the chest at Sunderland Royal Hospital on Thursday, January 14.

Prosecutor John Graham said in the same incident, he struck a registrar, also on the chest, causing no injury.

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Terrence Henderson, 40, was spared jail after he assaulted medics at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

And on Saturday, January 23, he spat at a police officer who had been called to a property in Silksworth Terrace, Silksworth.

Mr Graham told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court that the officer was hit on the chest, heightening Covid concerns.

Judge Davies described Henderson’s offence’s as “appalling”, adding: “To be honest, I was going to jail you.

“The first two assaults are on hospital staff in the middle of a pandemic. Spitting on an officer is just disgusting.”

Terrence Henderson was spared jail when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

But she said the fact he had lost part of his skull in an assault last year and was working with support services, could keep him from prison.

She jailed him for a total of 26 weeks, but suspended the sentence for 18 months.

Mr Graham told the court: “The defendant had been in the care of the hospital and was seen to be walking around when he shouldn’t be.

“A member of staff spoke to him. It was clear the defendant was drunk.”

The medics were attacked at Sunderland Royal Hospital, in the city's Chester Road.

“He squared up to [the staff nurse]. He lifted his left arm and struck [the staff nurse].

“This conduct continues and the defendant is spoken to by [the registrar], but he continues to be agitated.”

He added: “Staff try to calm him down. He punched [the registrar] on the chest area.

“There were no injuries. It was quite a prolonged incident overall.”

Of the attack on the police officer, Mr Graham said: “The officer has cause to arrest the defendant on an unrelated matter.

“He places him in a police van after his arrest. Henderson turned around and spat at him. The spit hits his chest.”

Paul McAlindon, defending, told the court: “What’s clear in respect of all matters is that he very clearly knows his behaviour was unacceptable.

“He has no real recollection of these matters. He has been homeless for some time.

“There is a chance of rehabilitation. The foundations are there. There is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”

Henderson pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault of an emergency worker, assault by beating of an emergency worker and causing harassment, alarm or distress.

He was jailed for 12 weeks for assaulting the registrar and six weeks for assaulting the staff nurse, to run concurrently.

And he was jailed for 14 weeks for assaulting the police officer, to run consecutively, all suspended.

The district judge also ordered that Henderson must complete 25 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service and pay compensation of £50 to the staff nurse, £150 to the registrar, and £300 to the police officer.

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