Frail patient attacked in hospital bed

Wishaw General Hospital
Wishaw General Hospital
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A court has heard how a man battered a fellow patient at Wishaw General Hospital with a drip stand.

Frail Hugh Drummond (79) suffered multiple fractures to his cheek and cuts to his face as he lay helpless in his bed around five o’clock in the morning.

Thomas Carroll (46), of Meadowhead Road, Craigneuk, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court today.

It was accepted he carried out the attack on September 20 last year, but his not guilty plea to the charge of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life was accepted by the Crown.

Natalie Henderson, prosecuting, said psychiatrists had examined Carroll and it was agreed that ‘by reason of mental disorder he did not appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of his conduct’.

Ms Henderson told the court that although Mr Drummond made a slow recovery after the assault he was taken back into hospital in December and died the following month of pneumonia.

The prosecutor said the victim and accused had been in the same four-bed ward at the hospital.

The night before the assault all four patients had been talking together and during the discussion Carroll, a former soldier, had brought up the subject of the Iraq War.

Shortly before 5am the next day the other two patients were wakened by a commotion and saw Carroll attacking Mr Drummond, who was lying in his bed, with a drip stand.

Carroll was calling Mr Drummond ‘a German b_’ and referring to the war, said Ms Henderson.

A security man ran into the ward and disarmed Carroll who was detained until the police arrived.

The court heard Carroll had no previous convictions and no history of violence. He told doctors he remembered nothing about the attack on Mr Drummond.

Ms Henderson said Carroll had been a heavy drinker before going into hospital.

Psychiatrists concluded a combination of alcohol withdrawal, pneumonia and other ailments had caused ‘acute confusion’, making him unaware of his actions.

Defence agent Rhonda Anderson said Carroll was ‘devastated and horrified’ by the incident.

Sheriff Vincent Smith continued the case until August 29 and hinted he will impose a supervision order on the accused.