Sunderland hospital patient tried to 'stab' paramedic during struggle, court told

A hospital patient tried to ‘stab’ a paramedic with a knife during a struggle, a court was told.

Nathan Bannister, 30, was carrying the blade in his pocket, which was spotted by the emergency worker as he was being discharged.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the medic tried to restrain Bannister, he tried to stab him with the knife, while it was still inside his pocket.

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The paramedic was left needing surgery to his knee after the struggle aggravated an old injury and has left him questioning his career.

Nathan Bannister.

Prosecutor Emma Hughes told the court: "The defendant was brought into the Sunderland Royal Hospital's A&E on the 24th of February of last year with a paramedic.

"Later, when he was being escorted out of the hospital following discharge, he was being supported by the same paramedic.

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"At the entrance of the A&E the defendant stopped and reached into his outer pocket of the jacket, attempting to pull our a tobacco pouch.

"It was at this stage the paramedic noticed what appeared to be a knife."

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The court heard that the worker immediately grabbed hold of Bannister in order to restrain him.

Ms Hughes added: "While the defendant was being pulled against the wall, the defendant attempted to stab him through the pocket of the jacket by twisting the wrist in his jacket."

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The paramedic said in a victim impact statement, he said: "I do not expect to be attacked in hospital.

"It has made me question if I want to do this job again.

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"I'm still on restrictive duties. I still have mobility issues and can't run. This has impacted on the work I do and a drop in salary."

Bannister, of Shakespeare Terrace, Sunderland, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in a public place and assault on an emergency worker.

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Shada Mellor, defending, told the court that Bannister had suffered a difficult upbringing and had no previous convictions.

Mr Recorder James Wood KC said the victim used "skill and care" when he noticed Bannister was in possession of a knife.

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He told Bannister: "You did produce the knife out of your pocket but I accept you put it back in again particularly when you noticed he had realised you hadproduced it.

"He then got a hold of you and took you to a wall. I'm told you were using your hand inside that pocket to try to get him because he was holding you.

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"All of that has had a serious effect on him. He was doing his job well to help other people.

"Possession of knives are grave offences where many go immediately to prison."

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However, the judge added: "I've been told you obviously have difficulties that you are beginning to address.

"You are a man of good character."

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He sentenced him to nine months behind bars, suspended for 18 months.

Bannister must also complete 20 rehabilitation activity days and pay his victim £1,000 in compensation.