Man made ‘gun gesture’ as hospital staff tried to help him, court hears

PUBLISHED: 12:12 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:33 29 April 2019

The James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston.  Picture: James Bass

The James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A man pulled his hand out of his pocket in a “gun gesture” after staff at a hospital tried to stop him from leaving, a court has heard.

Richard Nash, 33, had been at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston after taking an overdose, Norwich magistrates court was told.

The court heard Nash was in the hospital's A&E department, but did not want to be there and was “abusive to the staff who were attempting to deal with him”.

Josephine Jones, prosecuting, said Nash had told staff he was “going to leave” and looked like he might have had a gun in his pocket but “pulled his hand out in a gun gesture”.

Security staff tackled Nash who grabbed a curtain rail and damaged that in the process.

Miss Jones said a female member of staff was left “very much in fear” as a result of the incident.

Nash was shouting and making threats and could be heard by a family outside who had “just lost a member of their family”.

Police had to be called and Nash was arrested following the incident on March 8 this year.

Nash, of Victoria Terrace, Lowestoft, appeared in custody before city magistrates on Monday (April 29).

He admitted one count of criminal damage on March 8 and another of using threatening and abusive words and behaviour on the same date.

He also admitted an offence of failing to attend court earlier this month in relation to the offences.

Annette Hall, mitigating for Nash, said he did not know there was a family who had lost someone in the area and was “mortified” and “genuinely remorseful” about that.

She said Nash has mental health issues, including split personality disorder, and had intended to kill himself.

In terms of the bail act offence, she said he had been “very, very sick” and unable to leave his address.

Nash was ordered to pay £50 compensation to the hospital for the broken curtain rail.

For the disorderly behaviour the time he has spent in custody was deemed as time served for that offence.

There were no orders for costs due to his lack of means.

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