Ipswich: Drunk spared jail for spraying blood at hospital staff

AN abusive drunk who sprayed his blood over Ipswich Hospital staff as well as a cubicle has been spared prison.

Philip Bowman, of Yarmouth Road, Melton, near Woodbridge, was given a community order with 200 hours unpaid work by Ipswich magistrates today.

The 21-year-old had cut the index finger on his right hand on a wine glass during an argument with his girlfriend on October 23.

Unhappy at being taken to hospital for treatment to a severed artery, Bowman - whose mother is a hospital nurse - became verbally and physically aggressive when he arrived at the accident and emergency department.

Sentencing Bowman, chairman of the bench David Brennan said: “Your actions on this night frankly appalled me and I think it must have been absolutely dreadful for people in the hospital.

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“We have given serious consideration to sending you to prison.

“A lot of people come here and say ‘I only did this because I had been drinking’. To me that is not mitigation. That makes it considerably worse.”

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Earlier prosecutor Wayne Ablett told the court Bowman’s blood had spurted onto a cubicle curtain. The shirts of two security guards were also sprayed with blood as was the stab vest of one officer.

Bowman’s behaviour also alarmed other patients and impacted on the way the department was run with a number of staff having to help deal with Bowman.

Mr Ablett told the court that Bowman had previously been given fixed penalty notices for two public order offences in 2009.

Michael Stephenson, mitigating, said his client - whose had his mother and other family in court to support him - had never been before a court before.

Bowman was said to have lost between two and four pints of blood because of his injury.

Mr Stephenson said: “The behaviour was very bad. Mr Bowman understands that, and he also understands the effect on the hospital. All of that is something he is thoroughly ashamed of.

“He is not a violent person. He is not a person with a gripe against authority - still less a grip against medical staff, of whom his very mother is one.”

The court was told Bowman’s family think his demeanour might have been caused by hypovolemic shock, brought on by severe blood loss combined with alcohol.

Mr Stephenson said: “It’s an attempt by the family to try to understand why this perfectly nice, polite young man behaved so badly.”

In addition to the community order, Bowman - who previously pleaded guilty to criminal damage and threatening behaviour - must pay �379.54 compensation for the damage he caused, and �85 costs.

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