A mental health nurse was left fighting for his life after a patient tried to “stab him to death”.
When Edward Inatimi was attacked, his personal safety alarm he was carrying “failed to activate” at the mental health unit. A court heard Raymond Pearse, 74, launched the unprovoked attack after smuggling two knives and “sharp objects” into the ward in April last year.
Pearse also racially abused the victim, who was working at Heys Court, run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in Garston, Liverpool.
Pearse, who was sectioned in 1975 and had a chronic and “treatment resistant” form of paranoid schizophrenia, was ruled unfit to stand trial, but a jury at Liverpool Crown Court concluded he had committed the act of wounding Mr Inamiti after a fact-finding hearing.
Judge Judith Bond gave Pearse a hospital order with restrictions under Section 37(41) of the Mental Health Act. Strict conditions must therefore be met before Pearse can ever be released from hospital, reports Liverpool Echo.
Sarah Griffin, prosecuting, said Mr Inatimi, who had been Pearse’s designated nurse, saw the pensioner standing near the ward office on the day of the attack.
Ms Griffin said: “As he got closer to the defendant, the defendant turned around, took a knife out of his jacket and pointed it at Mr Inatimi. The defendant told him that he was going to stab him to death.”
The court heard Mr Inatimi backed off but Pearse called him a racial slur and advanced, holding the knife “firmly” and jabbing it towards him. Ms Griffin said Mr Inatimi tried to calm Pearse down and pressed his personal alarm, but it failed to activate.
Mersey Care said it regarded any assaults on staff as “completely unacceptable” and that their “safety is paramount”. A spokesperson said: “Mersey Care continues to review and learn from all incidents, understand any actions required and ensure our organization learns from them. We also offer our staff a comprehensive Occupational Health and Health and Wellbeing service to extend our support to deal with the impact of the challenging issues they may encounter.
“Our Trust continues to work to tackle violence and abuse against our staff and has established a Violence Reduction Program which aims to protect our workforce against deliberate violence and aggression from patients, service users, their families and the public, and to ensure offenders are reported. to the police.”
The court heard that during the incident the nurse took the brave decision not to shout out for help to prevent other patients and staff being put at risk, and instead decided to just keep backing away.
Ms Griffin said: “Unfortunately, he got stuck between a table and a door frame. The defendant was getting closer and seemed angry. When the defendant realized Mr Inatimi was stuck he lunged towards him with the knife.
“Mr Inatimi instinctively grabbed the defendant’s upper arms to try to minimize any injury. Mr Inatimi struggled with the defendant to try to keep the knife away from him but he could feel the defendant pushing the knife hard towards him.
“Both men ended up on the floor before Ms Clarke and Ms Kyriakidis came over to where they were. Mr Inatimi managed to grab the knife that the defendant had dropped to the floor in the struggle and the defendant was escorted back to his room.”
The court heard once Pearse was safely back in his room, Mr Inatimi realized he had blood running down his abdomen and seeping through his clothes from several puncture wounds. He was rushed to Aintree Hospital but did not require surgery.
Ms Griffin said a search was carried out on Pearse’s room where a second knife and other “sharp objects” were discovered.
In a statement read in court, Mr Inatimi said: “I am still in shock and trying to process what has happened to me. The horror of having to fight for my life at work, where I should be safe, plagues me. I have been having flashbacks and night terrors about what happened.
“I have also suffered from nightmares where I was unable to disarm Pearse and he then proceeds to harm the other patients in my care or my colleagues who were working with me.”
John Weate, defending Pearse, called on consultant psychiatrist Dr Martin Williams to give evidence at the hearing. Dr Williams said he was Pearse’s treating clinician at his new home at the Gateway Recovery Center secure hospital in Widnes.
Under questioning from Mr Weate, Dr Williams said Pearse suffered from delusional beliefs and occasional auditory hallucinations, and sometimes resisted or refused treatment.
He said: “Mr Pearse has a long history of aggressive acts which we can link to his mental disorder. This violence and aggression has at times incorporated the use of weapons. The description of his presentation on the day of the offense is indicative of a degree of malign intent, and those risks remain.”