Melrose: Woman called BGH staff ‘beasts’ during disturbance

A 33-YEAR-OLD woman refused to leave Borders General Hospital after being discharged and ended up involved in a major disturbance with staff, Selkirk Sheriff Court has been told.

Emma Forrest was told she had to leave the hospital after her treatment as it was a COVID requirement.

But she said she did not want to walk home despite living in nearby Melrose and refused to leave before becoming extremely abusive.

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Depute fiscal Naomi Warner said: “It was about 10 past one in the morning on July 29 and security officers and porters were working in the accident and emergency department at the time.

“A patient, who was the accused, had been discharged as fit to go home but was refusing. She was saying she did not want to walk despite living in nearby Melrose.

“As a result of COVID people are expected to leave the hospital immediately and she was repeatedly asked to leave the waiting area to adhere with the guidelines.”

Forrest tried to get into the main part of the hospital but the doors had been locked.

During the incident she went outside for a cigarette but insisted she was coming back inside.

She said she would burn anyone with the cigarette if they got in her way.

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At this point staff managed to wrestle her to the ground and one of the workers dialled 999.

Forrest was shouting “attack, attack”, calling staff beasts and swearing at them. She threatened to spit in their faces, the court heard.

Ms Warner said that when police arrived she began screaming at staff as they tried to restrain her.

Officers heard her calling hospital staff beasts as she continued to shout and swear at them and she was cautioned and charged.

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick said his client had a very complex mental health history but since the incident had taken steps to help herself.

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Sheriff Kenneth Maciver said: “This is a very serious matter.

“It is important that hospitals operate in a controlling and calm order and this kind of behaviour at Borders General Hospital is completely unacceptable.

“This is not a trivial matter.”

But he decided to defer sentence for six months for good behaviour to monitor her.

He added: “Hopefully at that time you will be able to have sorted out your difficulties.”

The case will recall on February 7.

Border Telegraph | News