No jail for woman, 22, who assaulted nurse and PC in Boxing Day rage
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In a case highlighting the vulnerability of police and NHS staff, Jamie Tompkins was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital after police picked her up drunk at The Hard in Portsea.
She ‘punched’ police officer Benjamin White but was taken to the emergency department herself after an old injury began to bleed.
The 22-year-old, of Cumberland Street, Portsea, was de-arrested and sitting in the waiting room before she started an onslaught of aggressive and abusive behaviour towards staff in front of other patients.
Her behaviour has been branded ‘completely unacceptable’ by Nicole Cornelius, director of workforce and organisational development at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
The officer in charge of the case, PC Simon Collins, described Tompkins’ actions as ‘vile’.
At Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor Lucy Linington said: ‘She jumped over the reception desk causing damage to a printer and a computer screen which was worth £889.92.
‘She proceeds to assault nurse Debbie Johnstone.’
The court heard yesterday that Tompkins also swore at Johnstone before she ‘threatened to stab’ staff member Patricia Smith with ‘knives and forks’.
Defending, Tim Sparkes said Tompkins had had a ‘challenging childhood’.
In a victim statement Nurse Johnstone, who has worked at Queen Alexandra Hospital for 16 years, said ‘it was the worst behaviour she had ever seen,’ the court heard.
The hospital launched its Respect and Protect Campaign in April last year and has a zero tolerance on abuse towards staff with patients warned consequences could include being removed from hospital and having to travel miles away for treatment.
Ms Cornelius told The News: ‘This case was completely unacceptable behaviour and saw our staff subject to unacceptable abuse.
‘It was also Boxing Day, a day when most people are with their families but our staff are ready to help and care for people in need so for us, even though violence is never tolerated, it feels particularly unacceptable.’
Investigating officer PC Collins added: ‘No one deserves to be attacked while at work, especially those NHS workers who have sacrificed their festive celebrations with family to be there for people in their hour of need.
‘Tompkins’ behaviour that night was vile towards two members of hospital staff who were simply trying to help her. There is no excuse for what she did.
‘We take all assaults against our colleagues in the emergency services seriously and will take action to ensure those responsible are held accountable.’
Tompkins was given a 16-week sentence suspended for 12 months for two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, threatening and abusive behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence and criminal damage. She admitted the charges.
She must pay £400 in compensation with £100 each to PC White and Ms Johnstone, and £200 to the hospital for the NHS equipment damaged.