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Six-month jail sentence for ‘needlessly vicious’ assault on nurse

Attacker pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting an emergency nurse

Attacker pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting an emergency nurse

A man has been jailed for six months under legislation aimed at strengthening protection of nurses and other emergency workers from violence after he assaulted a nurse in a hospital emergency department (ED).

The female nurse lost consciousness and required treatment after being attacked at Homerton University Hospital, east London in the early hours of 21 January.

Prince Isaac Walker, of no fixed address, was arrested by police officers at the ED.

The following day, he pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting an emergency worker at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court and was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison.

Attacker pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting an emergency nurse

Entrance to the emergency department at Homerton University Hospital
Homerton University Hospital, London, where the assault took place. Picture: Alamy

A man has been jailed for six months under legislation aimed at strengthening protection of nurses and other emergency workers from violence after he assaulted a nurse in a hospital emergency department (ED).

The female nurse lost consciousness and required treatment after being attacked at Homerton University Hospital, east London in the early hours of 21 January.

Prince Isaac Walker, of no fixed address, was arrested by police officers at the ED.

The following day, he pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting an emergency worker at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison.

Nurse is 'recovering well'

Investigating officer PC Kyri Soupashis described the assault as ‘a needlessly vicious attack on an emergency worker simply doing her job’.

PC Soupashis added: ‘I hope that the sentence brings the victim a measure of satisfaction and that she is able to recover from what was a very frightening experience.'

Homerton University Hospital’s emergency medicine consultant and associate medical director Emma Rowland said the nurse was ‘recovering well’.

‘Our staff are working under intense pressure and these kinds of incidents are not only saddening but also increase the strain we are all under,’ said Dr Rowland.

Government plans to strengthen law around assaults on emergency staff

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 made it a specific offence to assault emergency workers and healthcare staff providing NHS-funded care in England and Wales.

The legislation, which came into force in November 2018, also increased the maximum prison sentence for assaulting an emergency worker from six months to a year.

Last year the government announced plans to increase the maximum sentence again from 12 months to two years.

RCN supports more robust sanctions for attacks on NHS staff

The RCN has lobbied for tougher criminal sanctions for people who assault nursing staff.

RCN regional director for London Lisa Elliott said anyone who assaults a nurse or healthcare support worker ‘should feel the full force of the law’.

‘Every single member of any nursing team, no matter where they work, must feel safe and secure at work as a minimum,’ she said.

At the start of this year, NHS England launched a violence prevention and reduction standard for employers setting out the steps they must take to ensure staff safety.


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