Man took 50 valium tablets and threatened to kill a staff nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital

A Sunderland man who had taken 50 valium tablets threatened to kill a male staff nurse at the hospital where he was being treated, a court has heard.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:33 pm

Leighton Hair, 20, of Clovelly Road, Hylton Castle, initially became abusive to another patient escorted by the nurse to the entrance of the A&E department at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court that Hair was at the same location with his mum and tried to fight the man, on Tuesday, December 17.

She said Hair was then taken to a room appropriate for his condition, and added “As soon as he arrived he became abusive and was swearing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The incident happened at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The incident happened at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“He was seen by the nurse and was told that he was free to leave and began to verbally abuse staff.”

The court heard Hair got his mobile phone out to video staff going about their work and made threats that he would wait for them outside.

Mrs Beck, in giving evidence supplied by the nurse, said: “He began targeting me more, that he was going to kill me. He sprinted around the counter but luckily security was able to stop him.

“The incident had gone on for a while. To my knowledge, he had been in hospital for about four hours. I really believed that he would have attacked me if security hadn’t stopped him.

“He also said that he would see me outside and would find out where I lived. I don’t come to work to be sworn at and threatened.”

Mrs Beck said Hair was discovered with a spoon, surgical tape, an oxygen mask, KY Jelly and tongue depressors belonging to the hospital.

She added: “Several items were found on him when he was led away by police. In interview he said that he had been under the influence of valium.”

In interview, Mrs Beck said Hair claimed he only meant to scare staff and would not have hurt anyone, adding: “He confirmed that he fully admitted the offence.”

In a victim statement, the nurse said the incident had made him anxious and concerned that Hair would find out where he lived.

The court was shown a short video of Hair inside the hospital being spoken to by police and then restrained.

Greg Flaxen, defending, said: “He attended the hospital after taking 50 valium tablets. It was a serious attempt on his own life.

“He doesn’t remember much of the incident at all. The theft, he has no instructions to why he would need KY Jelly.

“He’s a small man who has become angry at the situation. The aggravating factor is it’s happened in a hospital.

“His behaviour is clearly not so bad that it warrants immediate action. You see a PC leaning on the counter, perfectly relaxed. It’s clear that the threats were never going to be carried out.”

Hair, who pleaded guilty to charges of threatening behaviour and theft, was given a 12-month community order with requirements of 25 days’ rehabilitation with the Probation Service and 175 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.