Man's foul outburst at Sunderland Royal Hospital after treatment for assault injuries

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A man erupted in a foul outburst when he awoke after treatment following an attack.

Carl Lawton, 33, was so confused when he came to at 5am at Sunderland Royal Hospital he did not immediately grasp where he was, a court heard.

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More in surprise than anger, Lawton, of Cheltenham Road, Hylton Castle, used rude words in a tirade directed at no one in particular, prosecutor Charlie Thompson said.

But his outburst on Saturday, March 9, was enough to get him arrested and taken to the city’s Southwick police station – a move which worsened his situation.

When searched, officers found prohibited class C drug Valium in his possession, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Despite his law-breaking setback, District Judge Zoe Passfield heard he was doing well on an ongoing community order and was taking steps to tackle a drugs’ issue.

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Mr Thompson said: “There’s no indication that there’s been any serious distress but there were multiple people there in terms of patients and nurses.

“There was no targeting of a specific individual and the incident lasted only a short while. It was the defendant using foul language in a hospital area and refusing to leave.

“The only factor that would escalate it is that it was in a hospital environment and there were vulnerable people present.”

Lawton pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a prohibited drug and using threatening behaviour or words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

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Gerry Armstrong, defending, said Lawton was engaging well with the Probation Service on a community order and around drugs.

He added: “On this occasion, he had been taken to hospital. He had been the victim of an assault and came round after treatment and didn’t know where he was.

“He didn’t know what was going on and began to shout. He’s very apologetic and ashamed of his behaviour in a hospital.”

Judge Passfield sentenced Lawton to a 12-month conditional discharge, with £85 court costs and a £22 victim surcharge.

She told him: “It’s really encouraging to hear that you’re engaging with the community order.

“Keep doing what you’re doing with Probation and hopefully we won’t see you back.”

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