Patient pulled plastic bag over nurse's head during attack at a Sunderland hospital

A nurse had a plastic bag pulled down over her head while she was tending to a patient at a Sunderland hospital – a court heard.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 7:00 am
Julia Branley pleaded guilty to a assaulting nurse at Hopewood Park Hospital in Ryhope.

Julia Branley pleaded guilty to a assaulting nurse at Hopewood Park Hospital in Ryhope.

The nurse, who works at Monkwearmouth Hospital was on secondment to Hopewood Park at the time of the incident in July this year.

Clare Irving, prosecuting, said Branley, 47, later told police ‘I like to kill people’.

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She told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court the nurse had gone into a lounge to give a patient their medication and was sitting talking to them.

Ms Irving, said: “The defendant was also sitting in the small lounge and seemed quite settled and got up and left the lounge.

“She was talking to the patient and said she felt something touching her head.

“She said ‘I looked up and as I did so Julia was behind me putting a plastic bag over my head and pulled it down’.”

Luckily the nurse was quickly able to free herself from the bag and the defendant.

Ms Irving told the court the nurse said she was a bit nervous now of going to work at a place she hadn’t been before.

Despite her mental illness, hospital specialists said the defendant was fit to be interviewed by police and make a plea to the offence.

Ms Irving said: “When she was spoken to by police she said ‘I like to kill people’.”

Defending, Tony Malia, said despite what she said Branley, who has schizoaffective disorder and who is sectioned under the mental health act, has never killed anybody.

He said: “She has been involved with mental health services since she was 19. I have counted at least 12 hospital admissions during that period.

“She is likely to be sectioned under the mental health act for some considerable time.

“It seems to me that whilst it was felt she knew what she was doing at that time, the motive behind it is not clear.”

Branley was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £21.