'Zero tolerance' after two security staff attacked at Burnley hospital

5:00pm Sunday 19th February 2012

By Peter Magill

NHS bosses have insisted they have a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude to assaults on staff after two security guards were attacked in the grounds of Burnley General Hospital.

Christopher Hartley, 24, was approached by two guards while drinking cider on the Casterton Avenue site.

But when he was challenged by the officers, Aftab Abdullah and John Westwell, just before 9.40pm on January 25, he turned violent.

Hartley punched Mr Westwell and Mr Abdullah in the face during the struggle, leaving one with a split lip.

Lancashire Police later arrested Hartley, of Kingsbury Place, on the Kibble Bank estate, and charged him with two offences of common assault.

He appeared before Burnley magistrates and admitted both charges, and was fined £200.

Hartley was also ordered to pay £50 compensation each to Mr Westwell and Mr Abdullah.

Directors at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said the prosecution came about as a result of close co-operation between security staff and police.

Jonathan Wood, the trust’s finance director, said: “We take a zero tolerance approach to violence and aggression.

“The trust will continue to investigate all of those incidents reported for security, violence and aggression and wherever possible ensure appropriate actions are taken with the support of external agencies.”

Just before Christmas trust bosses and Lancashire Police supported an application for an anti-social behaviour order against a man who repeatedly made a nuisance of himself at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

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