A drunken patient has been jailed for kicking a hospital worker after a Judge declared that the law needs to protect NHS staff.
Darryl Phillips kicked out at a security man who was trying to calm him down after police had taken him to Torbay Hospital on Christmas Eve with an injured hand.
The two officers had to step in to restrain him after he kicked a hospital security man in the face, causing cuts and bruises to his lower lip.
Phillips went on to attack a police woman in an unconnected incident four days later after he was arrested for being drunk again, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Phillips, aged 31, of Falcon Park, Paignton, admitted two assaults by battery and was jailed for a total of seven months by Judge Jeremy Griggs.
The judge told him:”One sees signs all the time now in hospitals saying what the attitude of the courts is to those who abuse hospital workers.
“These assaults may be at the lower end of the scale but they are unpleasant for those in hospital and the police service who are entitled to a measure of respect.
“It is clear that when in drink you have no respect for the authorities or for others.”
Miss Eleanor Purkiss, prosecuting, said the first incident happened on Christmas Eve after Phillips was arrested for suspected criminal damage in Torquay and taken to hospital with treatment on an injured hand.
She said:”He was aggressive and uncooperative and the two police officers saw him kick a member of the hospital security staff who was trying to control him.
“It is an aggravating feature that this was an assault against a hospital worker in the course of their work.”
Miss Purkiss said Phillips was bailed but arrested four nights later for drunkenness and kicked out at a female police constable as he was being booked into custody.
Mr Jonathan Barnes, defending, said Phillips’s long criminal record is linked to his drinking but he has joined Alcoholics Anonymous and has been told by his partner she will leave him unless he tackles his problem.
He said:”He is as nice as pie when he is sober but clearly a menace when he is drunk.”