Psychiatric nurse jailed for attacking colleague with full syringe
A psychiatric nurse has been jailed for a year for assaulting another nurse with a syringe filled with sedating, anti-psychotic medication.
Kofi Kankam (48), of the Clarin, Athenry, denied a charge of assaulting Emer Hyland, causing her harm, at the psychiatric unit at University Hospital Galway on February 5 last year.
Ms Hyland, who is in her 20s, told the hearing at Galway District Court that gardaí came into the male ward with a patient that evening who was very unwell.
She was dealing with another patient at the time who had absconded. She was sitting in the nurse's station having just got off the phone from speaking to security about that patient when she suddenly felt a sharp pinch in her left side.
Nurse Donna Long and Kankam had been standing behind her. Ms Long was holding a kidney dish which contained two syringes, prepared for the patient gardaí had brought in.
She jumped up and saw blood coming from her side. She and Ms Long went into a linen closet to examine her side. Kankam came in and said he was sorry.
Management were made aware of the incident and while Ms Hyland was brought to A&E for treatment, Kankam was told to go home.
Ms Hyland said she had been traumatised by the incident. Counsel for the accused said his client had returned from Africa to face the charge and he asked the judge to suspend any sentence. "It should be ended," Judge Mary Fahy said, before imposing a 12-month sentence.