A MAN who punched a female member of staff outside Doncaster Royal Infirmary has been detained indefinitely because of his mental illness.
A judge at Doncaster Crown Court imposed an indefinite hospital order on Kristofer Reed after he admitted affray in the DRI car park in November 2009.
The 25-year-old was sent to Wathwood medium secure hospital at Rotherham for treatment for his schizophrenia.
It has taken until now for Reed to be mentally fit enough to plead to the charge, but a psychiatrist told the court he could become disturbed again if he was released from hospital.
Dr Eric Mendelsohn, consultant psychiatrist, said Reed was suffering from pre-existing schizophrenia when he was arrested and had responded to medication.
“It is important he be detained for further mental treatment. There is a very substantial risk that he could fall through the psychiatric net and become disturbed again and act in a threatening manner,” he told the court.
The court heard Reed, of no fixed address, behaved in a violent way towards two female members of staff as they walked to their cars.
One of the women was punched in the face and, although she suffered no lasting injury, she was distressed by the incident.
Judge Jacqueline Davies told Reed: “Your condition is of the kind that makes it appropriate for you to be detained in hospital for medical treatment. It has been aggravated by taking illicit drugs and alcohol and you are at risk of causing serious harm to the general public.”
The decision was welcomed by hospital authorities who do not accept any show of violence towards staff by patients or visitors.
A spokesman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “While we sympathise with Mr Reed’s condition, nevertheless we operate a zero tolerance approach to any form of abuse or threatening behaviour towards our staff.”