Angry patient trashed doors at South Tyneside District Hospital after falling asleep and missing treatment

A patient damaged doors at South Tyneside District Hospital in anger after missing his chance of treatment after being assaulted.

Joseph Robinson, 35, failed to board an ambulance to take him to see a plastic surgeon in Durham after nodding off in the A&E unit.

When Robinson, of Bonsall Court, Harton Moor, South Shields, awoke and was informed, he blew his top and tried to force open exit doors, a court heard.

But they sat on a one-way route and were designed to open automatically only for people approaching from the opposite direction.

South Tyneside District Hospital.


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He caused an estimated £500 of damage on Saturday, January 15, repairs which did not cost him a penny after hospital engineers applied their own fix.

Robinson was also found in possession of non-prescribed drug Diazepam at a Sunderland police station while there on Thursday, May 5.

Prosecutor Clare Irving told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “He was shouting and being abusive to A&E colleagues.

“A one-way system was in place and the door doesn’t allow anyone to exit.


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“He was told he couldn’t go through, but said, ‘I’ll go out that way if I want’.

“He forced at the automatic door, but it wouldn’t open and pushed back on him. The estimated cost was £500.”

Mrs Irving said Diazepam was found on Robinson during a routine search.

He told police he took a tablet a day to treat anxiety and stress and was using the non-prescribed drug because his GP prescription had run out.


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Robinson pleaded guilty to possession of drugs and causing criminal damage.

Kate Matthews, defending, said: “CCTV clearly shows the door being used after he pushed through. It’s minimum damage.

“He accepts that he pushed it in anger. He was in hospital because he had been seriously assaulted and had been seen by a doctor in A&E.

“He had an injury to his lip, and it was decided he would be moved to a hospital in Durham to see a plastic surgeon.


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“He fell asleep, and the person who came to take him to Durham left. He was upset there was no-one to take him and became angry.”

Magistrates handed Robinson a 12-month conditional discharge for each offence, with £85 court costs and a £22 victim surcharge.