Nurse assaulted at Weston hospital

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse - Credit: Archant

A NURSE will receive compensation after a man admitted assaulting her while she was on duty at Weston General Hospital.

Mark Slade, aged 41, of Marindin Drive, appeared at North Somerset Courthouse on Friday where he admitted pushing Tanya Atwell while she was on duty at the hospital.

The incident took place after Slade had an altercation with his partner on September 30 – leading to Ms Atwell fearing for the safety of his wife and children.

Mitigating, Mr Peters, described Slade as being in a ‘very emotional state’ after his daughter had been admitted to the minor injuries unit.

He said: “A year before his niece, who was very young in age, sadly died.

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“He was at home waiting for news about what was happening to his child and didn’t hear anything from his partner for four to five hours.”

Upon arriving at the hospital Slade began to argue with his partner, and when Ms Atwell tried to stop the argument, encouraging him to wait in the visitors’ area, he pushed her.

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In a statement to the police Ms Atwell said: “We generally have zero tolerance of this type of incident. My motivation behind reporting this is because of my concern for the welfare of his partner and his children, and what will happen to them when they go home if he is there.

“He needs to understand that what he has done this evening is unacceptable.”

Mr Peters said: “He knows his behaviour was not acceptable, he feels stupid, ridiculous, and embarrassed.”

Slade pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating and was fined £180, and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Ms Atwell, as well as £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

A previous report by the Mercury looking into assaults against NHS staff discovered Weston healthcare professionals suffered more verbal and physical abuse than those in Bristol, London and Manchester.

The report detailed 39 assaults per 1,000 staff members in Weston during 2012-13 - one of the highest rates in the country.

Speaking at the time, director of nursing at Weston Area Health NHS Trust, Chris Perry, said: “We would remind everyone that we are here to help and care for them, and will not tolerate aggression towards any member of our team.”

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