MAGISTRATES told a man who admitted assaulting NHS staff that his crime was very serious.

Mark Payne-Lundy pleaded guilty to the assaults and to one count of racially, religiously, aggravated harassment when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court.

Shafquat Reaz, prosecuting, said members of the public called the emergency services concerned about the safety of the 29-year-old. Mr Reaz said paramedics decided to take him to Worcestershire Royal Hospital but, on arrival, his demeanour drastically changed and he punched himself. One of the nurses initially tried to intervene but then backed off, attending to another patient.

Mr Reaz said he then approached the other patient swearing, and then swung a punch at the nurse, Tara King, which she managed to avoid.

Mr Reaz said Payne-Lundy, who was drunk, fell to the floor before security arrived including NHS security officers Anthony Fahy and Mark Newman.

Mr Reaz said: “He then approached Mr Fahy and violently lashed out and swung a punch at Mr Newman that connected with his ear.

“He calmed down. However he again clenched his fist and, without warning, swung for Mr Fahy who managed to avoid the punch. Nurse King called for police assistance and, when police arrived, he was arrested.”

Mr Reaz said, after being taken to Worcester Police Station, his injuries were assessed and it was felt Payne-Lundy needed to go back to the hospital. On returning, in the hospital lobby, he called a couple waiting “dirty foreigners” which led to a further arrest for that offence.

Mark Turnbull, defending, said his client had no memory of what happened and was very sorry, expressing regret.

Mr Turnbull said that the father-of-one had been out drinking for his brother’s birthday and had injured his face. At the hospital, Mr Turnbull said he was trying to tell the nurse to get off him and was in distress.

“There was no planning, no use of weapons.” Mr Turnbull said.

“He has had problems with alcohol in the past.”

Judith Hulland, chairman of the magistrates bench, said they were treating it seriously as NHS staff were there to help, not to be abused.

Magistrates gave Payne-Lundy, of Henwick Road, a 12 month community order including 30 rehabilitation activity days and 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also fined £160, and told to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £85 - a total of £380.

Payne-Lundy fist-bumped a member of the public gallery as he was leaving the court room, after the case was heard last Thursday.

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