Patient blinded by attacker in Leeds hospital room

Patient had eye gouged out in attack by a paranoid schizophrenic patient.
Patient had eye gouged out in attack by a paranoid schizophrenic patient.
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A man was left blind in one eye after he was attacked by a fellow patient in hospital who tried to gouge it out.

David Mortimer and Mark Haslam were both staying on Ward one at the Newsome centre at Seacroft Hospital, Leeds when the assault happened on the afternoon of January 8 last year.

Joanna Shepherd, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that Mr Mortimer had just had a cigarette and was followed by Haslam when he returned to his room. He was then thrown on to the bed by Haslam who punched him and tried to gouge out his left eye. Haslam was seen leaving the room with blood on his hands by a member of staff.

Doctors fought to save Mr Mortimer’s eye but were not successful. Haslam, who was diagnosed in 2001 as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia was not fit to be interviewed for many weeks and when he was finally spoken to in May he had no recollection of what had happened.

Psychiatrist Dr Eleanor Watson told the court at the time Haslam was suffering a relapse because he was not complying with taking his medication.

He was now receiving treatment. Haslam, 32, admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Haslam, 47, and was ordered to be detained under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC also ordered Haslam be held under special restriction under Section 41 of the Act at the Newton Lodge centre at Wakefield for the protection of the public.

“I am satisfied Mark Haslam is suffering from a mental disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and the nature and degree of his
condition is such that it is appropriate he be detained in hospital.”

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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