“Degraded” nurse’s fearful wait after emergency room assault
THIS Far Northern nurse lived in fear she had a blood borne disease after a "degrading" emergency department assault.
The incident at Yarrabah Hospital occurred shortly after she began to treat unconscious bashing victim Neal "Ginger" Geardon on November 5, 2017.
Geardon, now 28, began to thrash about and complain he could not breathe as nursing staff administered a sedative - he had suffered a broken jaw and needed surgery.
"The defendant lunged at her, spat blood in her face and called her a 'white slut'," crown prosecutor Aaron Dunkerton told Cairns District Court.
The registered nurse, 24, was tested for infectious diseases she may have contracted during the assault, but fortunately was given the all-clear.
"The victim conveyed her anxiety while waiting for test results to come back," Mr Dunkerton said. "It was a demeaning assault on a nurse who was trying to help the defendant."
The father of two had been found stomped on Beach Rd earlier that morning and was unconscious for about 10 minutes. The court heard his jaw had been broken in two places and his head bore boot prints from being stomped by unknown assailants.
Tim Grau, defending, said his client was flown to Cairns Hospital for surgery and was admitted for one week.
"Clearly he had sustained very serious injuries - he needed hospitalisation for seven days," Mr Grau said.
He said his client "had no memory at all" of assaulting the nurse.
Geardon has since left Yarrabah as he no longer feels safe in the community. He pleaded guilty to serious assault.
Judge Tracy Fantin said the complainant nurse would have felt "disgusted and degraded" by the assault.
"She was no doubt very worried while she waited for test results to come back," Judge Fantin said.
"Nurses are entitled to do their jobs without being spat upon or insulted by people in the position you were in."
She sentenced Geardon to a six-month term in jail wholly suspended for six months, on the condition he continue to complete rehabilitation and vocational courses.