A HOSPITAL crisis worker feared for her life when a homeless patient turned nasty.

John Pullin, 32, was admitted to the West Cumberland Hospital’s accident and emergency department, in Whitehaven, during the early hours of November 12.

He was seen by a female crisis practitioner, who assessed Pullin and was told by him that he was homeless and needed somewhere “safe” to stay.

When told he was not a risk to himself or others, Pullin’s manner changed.

He wrapped a bed sheet around his hands, approached the worker and shouted at her aggressively with gritted teeth.

“She was very fearful for her own safety and also for her life,” prosecutor David Traynor told Carlisle Crown Court.

“She says in her many years in working in the NHS she had never felt as terrified as she was on that night.”

Her attempts to reason with Pullin were fruitless. She left the room, shut the door, a panic alarm was pressed and porters tried to calm him down.

Pullin later admitted a charge of assaulting an emergency worker but sentencing was put on hold.

A judge gave Pullin time to prove he could behave while in custody for prison staff.

Judge Nicholas Barker received a positive conduct report at the resumed hearing although a probation officer said Pullin still had to convince others he could comply with a community punishment.

He received an 18-month community order comprising 20 days’ rehabilitation.

“You were obviously having difficulties on this night. That’s why you went to hospital,” Judge Barker observed.

“Probably drunk. Self-induced intoxication. You decided to take your frustration out on the worker.

“It simply won’t do. These people are vital to the provision of much needed care by the health services.

“She was working at three o’clock in the morning, no doubt dealing with other intoxicated people and you scared the living daylights out of her.”