'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.
South Tyneside HospitalSouth Tyneside Hospital
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.

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

"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."

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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."