Mental health nurse was scarred for life by patient at Steeton hospital (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Mental health nurse was scarred for life by patient at Steeton hospital
A mental health nurse has been left with permanent scarring to her left arm after a paranoid schizophrenic threw hot water from a kettle over her at a hospital unit in Steeton.
The incident happened back in March 2011 at the Willows Hospital after in-patient Lynda Mason went “missing” from her unit and was later found in a locked kitchen.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that when Mason eventually opened the kitchen door she threw the contents of the kettle at nurse Patricia Rowbotham.
Miss Rowbotham described how she put her hand up to protect herself and the hot water went on to her left arm and side.
Although Miss Rowbotham put cold water on the scald to her arm, the injury became more severe and turned into a large blister.
She was given antibiotics but the scald became infected and she eventually had to undergo surgery for a skin graft.
She told the court that a big piece of skin had to be taken from her thigh and attached to her arm.
Miss Rowbotham, who still works at the hospital which is now known as The Priory, said the injury had healed quite well but she now had no feeling in the area of skin on her arm and the site of the graft on her thigh was extremely painful after the surgery.
Eight months after that incident Mason was interviewed by police at the hospital, but just a few hours after that meeting she again threw hot water at another member of staff.
Fortunately on that occasion in November 2011 the victim Mildred Bennette suffered only reddening and soreness to her arm.
Due to her mental illness 49-year-old Mason was deemed unfit to plead to charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Miss Rowbotham and assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mrs Bennette.
But a jury yesterday heard evidence about the two incidents and determined that Mason had committed the acts alleged against her.
After reading a report on Mason’s mental state and hearing from a doctor, Judge John Potter concluded that it was appropriate to make a hospital order without limit of time which means that she will continue to be detained at the Priory Hospital.
The judge told Mason that the acts committed by her were extremely dangerous and extremely serious and the victim in the first incident had suffered significant and long-lasting harm.
“The reason why you behaved in that way is because you are unwell,” the judge told Mason.
“It is quite clear that you are somebody who has a learning disability and significantly suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.”