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Man Sentenced For Pulling Knife On Brighton Hospital Staff

A man who threatened hospital staff with a knife during an incident in Accident and Emergency in Brighton has been sentenced.

Joshua Byrne carried the knife at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Footage showed him lunge towards a security guard and shouting “I will stab you in the face”.

He took a mobile phone from a patient by force, and narrowly missed stabbing a nurse.

PC Greg Devlin and PC Max Setra from Roads Policing Unit (RPU) were the first to arrive at the scene and used a Taser to safely arrest him.

At Lewes Crown Court on February 20, Byrne admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, threatening a person while in possession of a bladed article in a public place, and affray.

Her Honour Judge Christine Laing KC praised the bravery and professionalism of the hospital staff and security guards, and the RPU officers who detained Byrne.

In particular, the hospital staff kept calm under pressure, escorting patients and members of the public to safety, and protected other patients could not be moved from the A&E Department during the incident at about 11pm on October 3.

Police used a Taser to arrest a man with a knife inside the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Rachel Carr said:

“The actions of the hospital staff and security was incredible that night.

“It was a distressing incident for everyone in the hospital, but the staff’s professional actions ensured vulnerable patients were protected.

“Byrne’s actions were highly reckless, putting his own safety and the safety of everyone else at risk.

“He was swiftly arrested, and we are pleased that a dangerous criminal has now been sentenced.”

Byrne, 32, unemployed of Ingram Crescent East, Hove, was sentenced to five years in prison, which includes an extended licence period for a further three years.

He had attended hospital earlier in the day for treatment, and was seen outside the A&E department during a fire alarm after he had been discharged.

After arguing with security, he became irate and entered the A&E department, threatening staff and members of the public.

Police received multiple calls, and officers arrived within minutes.

A member of the hospital security team located the RPU crew in Bristol Gate, and the officers entered the hospital.
Byrne was Tasered and was detained on the ground.

Later, he told police that he carries a knife because he stole thousands of pounds from an Albanian drug dealer and felt the need to carry a knife “for protection”.

Chief Inspector Simon Yates, Sussex Police’s force lead for knife crime and serious violence, said:

“We know that there is increased concern from the public about knife crime.

“Stories in the media and social media can increase these concerns, and can lead some individuals to arm themselves with a knife in a misguided attempt to protect themselves.

“Sadly it is becoming commonplace for police officers to encounter weapons such as hunting knives and concealed weapons which have been purchased online, with few, if any, checks to prevent them being used in crime.

“We know that knife crime can destroy the lives of those impacted, their families and loved ones, and our communities.

“Those who carry them often don’t appreciate this impact, and don’t appreciate that by carrying a knife, they are far more likely to become a victim of knife crime themselves.

“It is a priority of Sussex Police to tackle knife crime and serious violence, to educate people about knife safety, and to work with partners to reduce knife crime and fear of knife crime to keep our communities safe.”

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