Harrogate woman pleads guilty to assault of A+E nurse

Harrogate Magistrates Court
Harrogate Magistrates Court

A young woman has pleaded guilty to assaulting a Harrogate District Hospital nurse after drinking a bottle and a half of wine.

On Thursday, October 22, Harrogate Magistrates Court heard Charlotte Hannah Ward, 24, of Pannal Ash Drive was on her way to Manchester to see her fiancée on July 27 when she began vomiting blood.

She was taken instead to the A+E department at Harrogate Hospital but, upon her arrival, fellow patients and staff reported her 'shouting and swearing' as she attempted to leave.

Police were eventually called to the hospital by those 'appalled' by her behaviour. However, as Miss Ward ran towards an exit, she stumbled into the ward sister on duty, Caroline Layfield.

Miss Ward grabbed hold of the nurse's uniform after stumbling into her, pulling them both down to the ground. Ms Layfield was later sent home complaining of back pain and was forced to take time off work.

The court's prosecution, revealed that Miss Ward's fiancée had beforehand revealed he was intending to travel to America and, in her distressed state, she had drank a bottle and a half of wine whilst on medication.

Miss Ward, who already has previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly in 2010, driving with excess alcohol in 2013 and wasting police time in August this year, has a community order and sentenced to alcohol treatment and rehabilitation.

The court's prosecution, Kim Coley, said Miss Ward was sorry for hurting Ms Layfield but explained she was unable to recollect the full sequence of events as she was under the influence of drink and various drugs.

Miss Ward's defence solicitor, Andrew Tinning, said she has had problems with alcohol previously which has 'completely changed' her behaviour and leads her to acting 'out of control'.

He said: "She has been at the hospital, she was upset and she had wanted to leave and that is what she was trying to do but the state she was in she has fallen into the complainant.

"At that point there is no complaint of assault and she is sent home. A complaint is only made some weeks later when she is still suffering pain in her back.

"The event pre dated the community order being put in place. It's a shame because of the progress she has made with her issues, she is doing remarkably well.

"She is going to a women's group, seeing a probation officer and going to Horizons. She has been sober for two months and the difference is remarkable."

The court magistrate, Caroline Campbell, deferred Miss Ward's sentence until February 11 on the expectation she keep out of trouble and saved up to compensate the victim, as well as complying fully with her community order.

Mrs Campbell said: "It seems that you are on the right road. We would like to encourage you to stay on that road very much so."