Stabbed worker’s court bid

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A SOCIAL worker stabbed six times by a psychiatric patient is back fighting for compensation in a unique test case.

Two days before the near-fatal attack on Claire Selwood, deranged Graham Burton told medics at Cherry Knowle Hospital he would “kill her on the spot,” but she was never told of his threat.

The mother-of-three, who lost five pints of blood, wants compensation.

The case, back in court yesterday, raises widespread issues on the duties of health professionals to pass on warnings.

Burton, 45, of Murton, attacked the then-Durham County Council worker Ms Selwood during a professional conference in County Durham in 2006.

He is serving an indefinite jail term for attempted murder.

Her legal team, led by Michael Kent QC, says that had Ms Selwood, 42, formerly from Chester-le-Street, been warned by the NHS trusts treating Burton, she would have taken steps to protect herself.

However, Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust; and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, are adamant that as Burton was not compulsorily detained and Ms Selwood did not work for them, they could not be held responsible.

A judge threw out her claim last year, but now she is battling on in the Court of Appeal.

The court is expected to reserve its decision until later.