Woman in ballet shoes attacked A&E nurse during ‘psychotic episode’ at Sunderland hospital

An ambulance outside Sunderland Royal Hospital's Accident and Emergency department.
An ambulance outside Sunderland Royal Hospital's Accident and Emergency department.
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A WOMAN who attacked an A&E nurse while undergoing a “psychotic episode” had left the house wearing ballet shoes because she thought people were chasing her.

Melanie McKie, 51, lashed out at staff nurse Kayleigh Brown after she was brought to Sunderland Royal Hospital’s accident and emergency department by paramedics on January 8, magistrates heard.

“It seems that the defendant was found in a state of intoxication in the street,” prosecutor Paul Anderson said.

“She was taken by paramedics to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“Nurses went in to speak to her and she was flailing her arms about.

“Three staff were present and she was told her behaviour was unacceptable.”

“The staff then left the immediate area, to return to McKie’s trolley moments later.

“As Ms Brown was walking past the trolley the defendant kicked out with her foot and struck a sharp blow, which caught her on the right breast. She felt a sharp pain as a result.”

Police arrived and arrested McKie, of The Grove, Ashbrooke, and she later admitted assaulting Ms Brown by beating her.

Ms Brown said in her statement after the incident: “I don’t go to work to be assaulted. I now feel nervous in my role.”

Michael Hodgson, defending, said McKie, who works as a seamstress for a company in Chester-le-Street, had no convictions before the age of 40.

“It is fully apparent that she was undergoing a psychotic incident,” Mr Hodgson said. “She got her ballet shoes because she said someone was after her and she had to get out of the house.

“She drank half a bottle of vodka and she was taken to hospital because paramedics had seen her in the street.

“Her behaviour was so irrational they thought she was drunk.

“She is lying down on the trolley and someone is trying to put something in her arm. She can’t bear to be touched.

“They go away and come back, she kicks out and she catches one of them in the chest.

McKie was given a community order with 12 months’ supervision and a 28-day tagged curfew, from 8.30pm to 6am. She was also told to pay £85 costs and a £60 surcharge and £100 in compensation to Ms Brown.