A YOUNG woman kicked and verbally abused medical staff who were trying to do their jobs at an Oxfordshire hospital’s A&E department.

Caitlyn Rees, 22, of Southfield Park, Oxford, appeared via video link at Oxford Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to three charges of assaulting emergency medical workers at the John Radcliffe hospital in Headington.

The court heard that Rees - after drinking a bottle of brandy with her friend - had gone to the A&E department at 4am on Saturday, February 23, 2019, after sustaining a cut to her finger.

Prosecutor Robert Lindsey said that while queuing up amongst other patients in the reception area, Rees repeatedly told staff that she wanted to be seen immediately.

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But a ‘disturbance’ broke out after staff told her that she would have to wait her turn.

Dr Lindsey said Rees - who was drunk - then kicked a nurse who was trying to apply a bandage to her finger.

Dr Lindsey said the nurse described Rees’ behaviour as ‘disgusting’ and when she went to the reception desk, she began to shout at staff calling the nurse a ‘b*tch’.

The court also heard that Rees shouted at her, “If I see you in the street, I’ll smash your f***ing face in” and pushed a paramedic without warning before shouting, “I can do what I want."

She was then restrained by security staff, but assaulted a doctor who had been calling out names of patients and ripped the name tag of their lanyard.

Security staff eventually pinned her to the wall and put up medical screens to stop other patients being disturbed.

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Rees also faced one charge of failing to appear at magistrates’ court on January 3 and has been at HMP Bullingdon for one month.

Her defence barrister, Martin Lewis, told presiding Judge Nigel Daly that Rees has ‘psychiatric difficulties’ and is a ‘longstanding sufferer of depression and anxiety’.

As she is currently heavily pregnant, expecting a baby girl in April, he urged the judge to consider allowing her to give birth at home or in hospital and recommended a curfew.

Judge Daly deferred her sentence – which would have been 20 months imprisonment - for three months.

There are however conditions attached to the deferment whereby Rees must live at her home address, abstain from taking illegal drugs and alcohol and contact Turning Point.

She also has an 8am to 6pm curfew.

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Judge Daly said: “I understand that you are doing well in prison. I hope that this [curfew] has some effect upon you, otherwise you are going inside for that period of time.”

The court heard that the nurse who Rees assaulted now struggles to deal with aggressive patients because of the incident and suffers from anxiety at work and at home.

Figures reveal that there is a rising level of violence and verbal abuse faced by doctors and nurses at the John Radcliffe Hospital's A&E department.

Violence at the hospital is at its highest since 2015, with 185 incidents logged of 'physical aggression' last year.

In the first ten months of 2019, there were 178 incidents of 'physical aggression' towards emergency staff, as well as 174 incidents of verbal abuse.

Ian Mckendrick, from Oxfordshire Unison's Health branch, previously told this paper that people should not take their frustration of growing delays in treatment out on staff.

He said: "No one should expect to face violence and abuse as an almost daily occurrence in their work.

"Hospital staff are already struggling under immense pressure due to shortages to meet people's needs.

"Being physically and verbally attacked can make the job feel impossible to do. It has a real impact on people's mood, their confidence and feeling of security."