A MAN covered himself in paint before assaulting a healthcare assistant, a nurse and a police officer at Carlisle’s Carleton Clinic.
Damien Lloyd Foster, 31, was mentally ill and present at the city psychiatric assessment and treatment unit on September 7 when the offences occurred.
The mental health nurse and a healthcare assistant became aware of raised voices at around 10-20am, and went into a corridor.
“They could see Mr Foster had been at an arts and crafts class,” prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI). “He had covered himself in brown paint. He was leaving handprints on the wall, and he was rolling his body on the wall to leave paint.”
Both women told him to stop. Foster hugged one and wiped his hand across her face mask, transferring paint on to her and saying he hadn’t taken his medication.
He then grabbed the other woman from behind in what she described as a “bear hug”, also covering her in paint. She later said: “I was scared as I didn’t know what else he could be capable of.”
Mr Rogerson told the court: “Both women describe the behaviour of Mr Foster as very unpredictable, and they expressed their disappointment that they should experience such behaviour towards them when trying to assist him with his mental health issues.”
After police arrived and attempts were made to restrain him, Foster kicked his legs back forcibly, one of his heels making contact with the right upper rib cage of an officer. This caused him to feel immediate pain.
Foster later admitted assaulting the two employees, assaulting an emergency worker and damaging a door frame and door. He later insisted there was nothing dangerous or menacing about his hugging, and no intent to kick the PC.
Foster had been remanded in custody since early September. And his lawyer, Jeff Smith, said: “It is perhaps counter-productive to say that prison works. (But) so far as Mr Foster is concerned a period of some stability has had an impressive effect upon him. He had received his medication, had a roof over his head, been fed properly and been able to stabilise himself.
“Mr Foster would like to apologise in court to the ladies who he understands were scared by his actions. He didn’t wish to hurt or upset them.
“He was a man who was suffering and struggling at the time. He isn’t now. Hopefully he will have a more successful coming 12 months than he has had in the last 12 months.”
Foster, now of High Street, West Woodburn, near Hexham, was handed a three-month jail sentence by Recorder Lawrence McDonald.