Mental patient stabbed nurse at Sunderland hospital

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A PATIENT who stabbed a nurse at a psychiatric hospital has been detained indefinitely for the protection of the public.

Mark Williamson plunged a blade into staff nurse Graham Neary’s arm twice, in an office attack at Cherry Knowle in Sunderland last April.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 25-year-old paranoid schizophrenic is considered a “serious risk to the public”.

Judge Brian Forster made a hospital order in his case.

The judge told him: “I consider that the risk of you committing further serious offences at the present time is such that there must be this order.”

The court heard Williamson will be treated at a psychiatric hospital in York.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court Williamson had been a patient at Cherry Knowle, and had returned to the facility a day early after some home leave, suffering “paranoid thoughts”.

The court heard as there was no bed for him at the unit, Nurse Neary went into an office to see if a different hospital could take him.

Mr Bunch said: “As he turned to the phone to secure another bed the defendant struck him twice to the left side of his arm.”

Nurse Neary was treated in hospital and has been greatly affected by the frightening ordeal.

Williamson told police he had taken a knife with him from home, and targeted Nurse Neary because he believed the health worker had been “directing others in negative actions against him”.

The court heard Williamson is being treated with medication for hallucinations and multiple voices which tell him people are against him and that he needs to protect himself. He has so far shown a “partial response” to treatment.

Williamson, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at an earlier hearing.