Sleepless patient lashed out at Forth Valley Royal Hospital staff

A nursing assistant was spat on and punched repeatedly in the face by an angry patient who had trouble sleeping.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 4:02 pm

Matthew Walker (40) became further enraged after supposedly having a door slam against his foot as he tried to get medication to help him sleep.

Walker, 5 Craigford Drive, Bannockburn, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, having pled guilty to the assault and threatening behaviour offence he committed at Forth Valley Royal Hospital on December 20 last year.

Collette Fallon, procurator fiscal depute, said: “The complainers were working as nursing assistants and were on late shift. It 11pm and the accused was irate at having been woken up.

“He began to shout and swear and was told to go back to bed and the office door was closed. He told staff ‘You slammed my foot in the door – I’m a diabetic’. The accused then kicked the office door before returning to his room.

“Then several hours later at around 1.25am he returned to the office, once again angry he couldn’t sleep and again made reference to the nurse having slammed his foot in the door, requesting he come outside the office and fight.

“The accused then spat in the direction of the witnesses, with the spittle landing on the one nurse’s right shoulder. He then entered the office and grabbed the complainer, pushing him into the desk and punching him several times to the face.

“The panic alarm was activated and other staff members attended to restrain the accused. The nursing assistant was left with red marks to his face, pain to his lower back, left hand and left knee.”

The court heard Walker had a lengthy criminal record but his last assault case was back in 2015.

Defence solicitor Stephen Biggam said: “He accepts it is appalling conduct against people who are trying to help him.”

Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “While listening to the crown narration I had a custodial sentence in mind. However, there are certain mitigating factors and the fact you had not been in trouble for some time, as well as your mind not being as clear as it should be.”

Walker was placed on a supervised community payback order for 12 months with the condition he complete 160 hours of unpaid work in six months and pay £400 compensation to his victim at a rate of £20 per fortnight.