Hospital ban after Bury St Edmunds woman hits nurse

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A woman has been banned from West Suffolk Hospital, except for lifesaving treatment, after assaulting a nurse there earlier this year.

Emma Louise Fordham, 32, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to assault by beating at Bury Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday.

Prosecuting, Colette Harper said ward manager Julia Saberi, a registered nurse of 30 years, took prescription tablets to Fordham at around 7pm on January 7.

She held out the packet so Fordham could read the instructions, but she ‘suddenly swung her left arm’, catching the nurse in the face and causing her glasses to ‘fly off’.

Mrs Harper told the court Fordham had been issued with a 12 month exclusion from the hospital, except for life-saving treatment.

In mitigation, Claire Lockwood said Fordham had gone to the A&E department suffering from abdominal pain.

She was with her husband who, like her, is profoundly deaf, and they did not have an interpreter which made communication difficult.

Mrs Lockwood said the couple were anxious after waiting several hours and Fordham ‘struck out’ when tapped on the shoulder.

“Being profoundly deaf, suddenly being touched was quite a shock for her,” she said.

“In my view, she does show genuine remorse and accepts the nurse was doing her job and didn’t deserve to be assaulted while on duty,” she added.

Speaking through an interpreter, presiding magistrate Ken Turner told Fordham ‘assaults on nursing staff at the hospital will always be taken very seriously by the courts’.

Fordham received a 12 month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £50 compensation, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.