A WOMAN who kicked and verbally abused staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital has been spared jail.

Caitlyn Rees was drunk and had gone to the Oxford hospital's A&E department with a cut when she launched into a violent outburst.

The 22-year-old of Southfield Park, Oxford, had already admitted three counts of assaulting an emergency worker, one public order offence, and failing to surrender to custody.

She was sentenced for those crimes at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

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At an earlier hearing it was revealed that Rees - after drinking a bottle of brandy with her friend - had gone to the A&E department at 4am on Saturday, February 23 last year, 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.

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.

Oxford Mail:

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**ch’.

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.'

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

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

Her defence barrister, Martin Lewis, said Rees had ‘psychiatric difficulties’ and was a ‘longstanding sufferer of depression and anxiety’.

Presiding Judge Nigel Daly deferred sentence at that hearing in February and the case was heard for the last time yesterday.

The court heard that Rees had since made 'positive progress' with agencies involved in her case and had recently given birth.

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Her defence barrister Mr Lewis said: "It's all improvement since this matter was deferred."

Judge Daly said: "We need to protect emergency workers from people who come into the hospitals drunk as you were.

"Emergency workers, and particularly those who work for the NHS have been at the forefront of the public's mind recently.

"I gave you an opportunity to prove yourself and prove that you could turn your life around."

He said while he would order a jail sentence it could be suspended and he handed her a 20-month jail term, suspended for 18 months. She must also complete 25 rehabilitation days and pay a statutory victim surcharge.