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Fined for hospital assaults

A FIFTY three year old seaman who drunkenly punched a nurse and a paramedic was fined £800 when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Surva Mart, from Liepaya in Latvia, pleaded guilty to assaulting, obstructing and hindering the two workers at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick on 6 January.

He was initially arrested for behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing in the Shetland Hotel, where he had been staying while awaiting a vessel crew change.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said officers then took him to the police station, before calling for an ambulance to take Mart to the hospital’s A&E department out of concern for his health.

As staff at the hospital tried to assist him, Mart behaved in a “quite appalling” manner. He punched the nurse on the chest, before going on to strike the paramedic on the mouth.

Mr Mackenzie said behaving in such a way in A&E was distressing not only for hospital staff, but also for other patients and their families who are “often in a dire predicament”.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had consumed an “extremely large” amount of alcohol. 

Mart was so drunk that he could not recall events at the hospital, but understood he had caused a great deal of upset as well as physical harm.

Mart works on an oil platform support vessel, and Mr Allan said his client feared the ship had subsequently arrived and then departed Lerwick – leaving uncertainty over his job.

Mr Allan said Mart and his colleagues spent most of the day and evening drinking, but when the others went to bed he had been reluctant to leave the bar and ended up causing a disturbance.

Sheriff Philip Mann dubbed it a “very disgraceful episode” and told Mart that, had it not been his first offence, he would be facing a jail term.

If he failed to pay the fine within 14 days, Mart was warned he would be given a 28-day custodial sentence. 

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