In an alarming incident that underscores the escalating level of abuse faced by hospital staff, a man has been imprisoned for storming into Grantham’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) department armed with a baseball bat and a knife.
Fred Robinson, 26, of The Grange, Grantham, had a verbal dispute over the phone with a nurse who intervened during a conversation with a family member receiving treatment.
Upon being threatened by Robinson, the call was promptly terminated.
Not long after, Robinson appeared at the hospital’s ambulance entrance outside regular A&E opening hours.
He brandished a baseball bat from his backpack, smashed the glass doors while swearing and shouting, and even kicked the doors.
Upon arrival, police were met with a thrown bat before they used tasers to subdue and arrest Robinson.
A knife was found in his possession during the subsequent search.
Fortunately, no staff member or patient was injured in this unsettling encounter.
Robinson was later sentenced to 14 months imprisonment for affray at a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court.
Concurrent sentences were given for possession of a knife, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, and criminal damage.
Lead investigator DC Stewart Humm said:
“The sentencing is reflective of how serious this incident was, where Fred Robinson made threatening phone call to a family member who was being treated at the hospital, and to nursing staff working on the A&E ward.
“He then went on to carry out his threats by attending the A&E ambulance entrance outside of normal hours armed with a baseball bat and a kitchen knife.
“He put the staff and public attending that hospital in fear by his actions, which is particularly despicable considering that the patients there are at their most vulnerable.
“His actions also inconvenienced the hospital Trust. He presented with such violence that officers had to deploy tasers to defend themselves and control him.
“The officers placed themselves in harms way to protect the public whilst dealing with the imminent threat he posed, and thanks to their swift actions, nobody was injured in the incident.”
A hospital spokesperson added: “We need to make sure that our teams are protected from violence, aggression and discrimination whilst they are at work, so that they are able to provide the best possible care to patients.
“We take a zero tolerance approach to violence, aggression and discrimination in our hospitals and we will take action if our staff suffer any kind of abuse.”
This incident brings to the forefront the distressing rise in assaults on staff at Grantham A&E.
A Freedom of Information request made by Lincolnshire Live revealed a 30% increase in assaults on staff.
From January to December 2022, the department recorded a total of 111 assaults on its staff.
The majority of these assaults took place in the waiting area and were predominantly verbal, accounting for 64% of all reported cases.
Physical assaults comprised 28%, and the remaining 8% were sexual assaults.
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