Disabled woman in doctor coffee attack

A WHEELCHAIR-bound amputee has avoided jail after attacking a hospital doctor.After 34-year-old Maxine Hinton admitted throwing hot coffee over the doctor, magistrates told her she would have gone to jail had it not been for her condition.

A WHEELCHAIR-bound amputee has avoided jail after attacking a hospital doctor.

After 34-year-old Maxine Hinton admitted throwing hot coffee over the doctor, magistrates told her she would have gone to jail had it not been for her condition.

Hinton, of Pleasant Road, Ipswich, went to Ipswich Hospital on July 4 after injuring her stump in a fall at home.

Patricia Doggitt, prosecuting at South-East Suffolk Magistrates Court, said Hinton was given pain-relieving drugs when treated in the accident and emergency department at about 3.30am.

Miss Doggitt said the doctor's initial diagnosis was that Hinton was in no particular discomfort or distress.

She said the doctor administered 10mg of morphine after complaints from Hinton and shortly afterwards heard her laughing.

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But just half an hour after the dose Hinton called for more drugs and met the doctor with a foul-mouthed tirade.

Among the obscenities, Miss Doggitt said Hinton accused the doctor of not caring and said 10mg of morphine was nowhere near enough.

She then picked up a cup of coffee and threw it at the doctor, before pushing a metal trolley at her.

Miss Doggitt said the doctor ran off in tears, fearing she had been scalded by the hot liquid that soaked through her surgical scrubs.

When she examined herself, she found the skin was reddened, but not damaged enough to require medical treatment.

In a statement read to the court by Miss Doggitt, the doctor said: "This has shocked me enormously.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I will not avoid the department, but I will be frightened about treating patients in this state of mind again."

Tim Ridyard, defending, said Hinton had endured a horrific time since a fall from an upstairs window left her with legs smashed and serious back injuries.

He said part of Hinton's leg was amputated in January 2000 after a bone infection set in. Another partial amputation was required at a later date.

Mr Ridyard told the court on the night in question his client was in tremendous pain after cutting her stump in a bathroom fall.

He said if Hinton had been in a clear state of mind she would have realised the doctor was trying to help her.

Although Hinton admitted assault, Mr Ridyard said she splashed the doctor with coffee while flinging her arms around and had not deliberately picked up and thrown the mug.

Magistrates gave Hinton a two-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.

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