'Paranoid' patient told nurse he was armed and ready to deal with 'difficulties' while attending South Tyneside Hospital

A hospital patient confessed to a nurse that he was armed with weapons during a treatment consultation.

Friday, 24th August 2018, 3:34 pm
Updated Friday, 24th August 2018, 3:40 pm
South Tyneside Hospital

Reginald Benge made the revelation during a visit to South Tyneside Hospital in South Shields, South Tyneside, on July 11.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the 45-year-old went out for a cigarette, the nurse confiscated his bag and the police were alerted.

Prosecutor Emma Downing told the court: "The nurse was on evening shift, dealing with triage.

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"The defendant came in to see her. He had a carrier bag in his possession.

"He effectively volunteered straight away to the nurse he had a knife in the bag and had a spray in there to spray in people’s faces if there were any difficulties.

"He left briefly for a cigarette. While he was out of the room, the nurse confiscated the items and the police were notified."

Benge, of Cheshire Grove, South Shields, told police he suffered from "paranoia" and pleaded guilty to possessing the weapons.

Mr recorder Eric Elliott sentenced him to a 12 month community order with programme requirements.

The judge said he was aware of Benge’s "difficulties".

He added: "You come to this court because you volunteered your criminality in a hospital when you attended with a knife and a spray."