A man from Bradford who stabbed a female health worker in the back has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

In a statement read to Bradford Crown Court the victim of Brian Clifton’s unprovoked attack described him as “a monster” whose actions had left her with trauma that had no end date.

Prosecutor Bashir Ahmed said Clifton, now 63, had attended a routine appointment at a health centre in Bradford when he sprung his surprise attack on the unsuspecting woman at around midday on March 31 last year.

She had taken blood samples and had returned to her desk as he walked to the door to leave the room.

However moments later she felt two painful sharp blows to her upper back area. She got up and turned around and saw [Clifton] with a knife in his hand.

“It was only then that she realised she had been stabbed.

“She fled the room, screamed out as she did so, and went to a nearby doctor’s room where she told a doctor colleague what had occurred.

“He proceeded to lock both of them into the room for their safety and gave [the victim] some first aid.”

Other staff, alerted by the woman’s screams, called the police and locked Clifton in the treatment room.

When police officers arrived they arrested Clifton and found his knife stuffed into a crease of the treatment couch.

He admitted he had used the knife on the health care assistant, who was taken to hospital for treatment.

In an interview with police Clifton said, “Yeah, I did it. I might have met her before,” but mainly made “no comment” responses.

In her statement the victim, a mother of four, said health care had been her “passion” but being stabbed had impacted her everyday life affecting her confidence and heightening her anxiety.

She said: “As a child I would be scared of the monster under my bed. After turning the light off I was running from a monster that wasn’t real. I know this.

“As an adult I now fear the monster that lives in my head. That monster is Brian Clifton.

“He is real, he is alive, and he made the choice to hurt me unprovoked.

“I struggle to sleep on a night and, on the nights I do sleep, I have nightmares. The psychological damage is lifelong.

“My children approaching me from behind makes me flinch and jump out of my skin.

“The trauma from this incident has left me looking over my shoulder. This trauma doesn’t have an end date, nor does healing.”

The court heard that Clifton was previously convicted in 1996 for another attack on a health professional and had been sentenced to nine years in prison for false imprisonment and indecent assault.

Mitigating, John Bottomley said Clifton, formerly of Newcastle House, Barkerend Road, Bradford, felt a great degree of remorse for what he had done to his victim and hoped she could recover.

Making an order under section 37 of the 1983 Mental Health Act, Mr Recorder Anthony Hawks said Clifton had posed “an immediate, severe, and unpredictable risk to members of the public.”

Having regard to a medical report he said: “It’s clear from reading the psychiatric reports in this case, and heating more evidence from the doctor, that you have a long history of schizoaffective disorder.

“I am satisfied that the various conditions require me to make a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

“It will be also subject to a restriction order of section 41 of the Mental Health Act, unlimited in time … for the protection of the public from serious harm.”