Psychiatric patients sentenced over organised attack on hospital staff

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Staff at a psychiatric hospital near York were beaten and left traumatised in a pre-planned attack by some of the patients, a court heard.

As a result of the violence on November 5 2011 four employees at Stockton Hall had to have counselling, Jessica Strange, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

A nurse on Fenton Ward had a telephone warning from a relative of Glen Stephen Ryan, one of the patients involved, warning that trouble was going to start soon, and it did at 8pm when medication was being handed out.

Staff were attacked, some being punched by patients, and three suffered cuts and bruises before the incident was brought under control.

One patient tried to get into the secure medical cabinet during the disorder.

Ryan, 27, who has since been transferred to Rampton Hospital, admitted affray and two charges of common assault. He was ordered to be detained under section 37 of the Mental Health Act and under section 41 without time limit after the court was told he suffers from a personality disorder with chronic auditory hallucinations.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said such orders were necessary to protect the public from Ryan, who has a record for offences of violence including a three-year jail sentence in 2006 for unlawful wounding.

“This was an extremely violent incident of public disorder.”

He said some of the staff described it as the worst they had ever faced.

A second patient, Christian Michael Grant, 22, who admitted the same three offences, was given a conditional discharge.

Judge Bayliss said Grant was already subject to a hospital order without time limit which was imposed in June 2010 for rape. There was no point in making a further order.

“That order, of course, already means he cannot be released without the consent of the Secretary of State,” he said.

Three other patients have already been sentenced for their part in the violence.