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Attack from Glasgow man changes life of mental health nurse on Inverness ward

By Court Reporter

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A MENTAL health nurse was throttled until he was unconscious by a patient who had been admitted for assessment.

The trial of 39-year-old Ian Fraser, of Croftfoot Road, Glasgow was told that staff nurse John Deverell was grabbed from behind in a headlock and pulled backwards off his chair as his assailant’s grip tightened.

Fraser then kicked the nurse on the head as he lay unconscious on the floor before being restrained by other staff at New Craig’s Affric Ward in Inverness on April 15, 2019.

Mr Deverell relived the horrific attack and told Sheriff Robert Macdonald: “It has dramatically changed my life.

“I used to enjoy going on holidays, riding my motorbike, I stray little from my home and I have become a withdrawn person.

“I have never experienced that before – someone trying to end my life.

“I truly felt my time was up.”

Mr Deverell said he still needs treatment for post-traumatic stress and his nightly sleep is interrupted by flashbacks. He added that he managed to activate the attack alarm in the ward before blacking out.

Fraser did not deny the assault in his questioning of Mr Deverell nor in evidence but queried and contradicted some of the details of how the assault was performed.

The court was told Fraser had been arrested after turning up at an Ardersier man’s rural home three times earlier on the same day.

He punched and broke a pane of glass in Malcolm Hay’s French doors after a series of strange comments about how he could stop the sun destroying the retired couple’s home in an explosion.

He was taken by police to the mental health facility as a result and then committed the assault on Mr Deverell.

Fraser was found guilty of causing fear and alarm and damage to Mr Hay’s property, as well as the assault.

Sheriff Macdonald said he was considering a custodial sentence and deferred sentence until April 29 for a background report.

The sheriff added: “This is as serious an assault as I have heard at this level.

“It could have gone before a jury.”

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