An abusive Raigmore Hospital patient’s foul-mouthed rant at a nurse was due to anger over a “dirty shower room” with “faeces on the wall”, his lawyer suggested.
James Stewart, 38, was kicked out of the healthcare facility after his unpleasant outburst around 10am on January 7 2020.
The tirade was aimed at an NHS worker who wouldn’t give him his medication early – as the inpatient had requested – without first checking with a doctor.
Stewart, whose two broken heels were being treated at the time, then began shouting and swearing at the staff nurse in Ward 3C.
When he appeared in court to answer for his bad behaviour and five charges of shoplifting worth over £1,000, Stewart’s defence solicitor said her then-drug addict client had been angry that the shower “wasn’t hygienic”.
Raigmore Hospital patient James Stewart was nasty to nurse
At Inverness Sheriff Court, the accused pled guilty to a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour toward the nurse.
Fiscal depute Karen Poke told the court: “She informed the accused she would have to go and check with the doctor first before she could go and get the medication”.
Stewart “began shouting and swearing” and telling the woman she should “stick to the job,” Ms Poke said.
The nurse spoke to a colleague and then received permission to administer the meds, but as she went to the controlled medication cupboard “the accused had followed her closely shouting and swearing the whole time.”
Stewart also told the woman that he would be making a complaint.
Ms Poke added: “She felt she couldn’t look after other patients because of his behavior and he was asked to leave. He did then leave the ward as requested”.
Inverness shoplifter James Stewart was a drug addict when he snapped at nurse
Solicitor Natalie Paterson, representing Stewart, said her client had been upset after finding the shared washing facilities were not clean.
“His anger on that day came from a dirty shower room. There had been faeces on the wall,” she explained.
Ms Paterson added that Stewart accepted he had acted in the manner described by the fiscal depute.
But the defence lawyer told the court that police officers, who were called to deal with Stewart, had been shown the dirty room and “they seemed to accept that it wasn’t hygienic”.
Ms Paterson also said that her client had been in the grip of a drug addiction at the time but had now been drug-free for three years.
Stewart also pled guilty to five shoplifting charges dating back to the autumn of 2019, when he stole goods worth £1,077 from shops in Inverness.
Ms Poke told the court that Stewart her targetted Asda on Ivanhoe Avenue and Boots at Eastfield Way in Inverness – stealing razors, toiletries and cosmetics.
The items have never been recovered.
Sheriff Gary Aitken fined Stewart, of Glenurqhart Road, Inverness, £300 for the shoplifting and a further £160 for the disturbance at Raigmore Hospital.
A spokeswoman for NHS Highland told The Press and Journal: “We have a robust cleaning process within the hospital.
“Patients and visitors have the opportunity to raise any concerns with members of staff, to which we respond.”
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