Man gets jail for attacking staff nurse

A prison officer was switching the leg restraint of a man in hospital when the man grabbed a staff nurse and arm locked her at the neck.

The court heard that Royston James Woodworth, 41, was arrested for an offence of public nuisance on July 18 last year, and was transferred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital from prison two days later after he said he was unwell.

On July 20, he refused to get dressed after the staff nurse, Ms Lee Cui Wen, 25, and an assistant had sponged him.

He then complained to prison officer Toh Hong Chye, 31, that his leg restraint was uncomfortable. He then asked for it to be attached to his right leg instead.

As Mr Toh was removing the restraint, Woodworth charged out of the bed and attacked Ms Lee. He released her only after several people, including doctors, intervened.

Yesterday, Woodworth, who is unemployed, pleaded guilty to causing hurt, four counts of theft, and one count of taking methamphetamine. He was sentenced to a total of 15 months and 15 weeks in jail, which was backdated to Aug 7 last year.

Eight other theft charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that he stole a Marshall Bluetooth box worth $455 from Mustafa Centre on Jan 2, 2016.

He also stole groceries worth $153 from the same place on May 5 that year, and a battery pack and two packets of rice totalling $35 from Giant at Suntec City Mall on Nov 10 the same year.

On Jan 12 last year, he stole a $3,180 red floor lamp from JW Marriott Singapore in Beach Road.

Defence lawyer A. K. Nakoorsha, who was assigned by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, in mitigation said Woodworth was depressed and diagnosed with bipolar II disorder since 2009. He was also an HIV patient.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2018, with the headline 'Man gets jail for attacking staff nurse'. Print Edition | Subscribe