A man who used to work as a nurse in the North District Hospital has been sentenced to six months in jail after he was found guilty of assaulting an elderly patient.
The Fanling Magistrates’ Court gave the ruling Wednesday, rejecting claims by the defendant, a 52-year-old surnamed Shiu, that he had acted in self-defense after being attacked by a patient.
The court heard earlier that in April 2014, when Shiu was working for the North District Hospital, he beat up an 85-year-old male patient, leaving bruises on the man’s left eye, Ming Pao Daily reports.
The elderly patient, who bears the surname Tsang, died 10 days later.
A forensic report showed the beating by Shiu was not the cause of the senior citizen’s death.
Still, authorities filed a case against the nurse, charging him with “assault occasioning actual bodily harm”.
The defendant, who has been in custody for the past three months, told the court that Tsang kicked him first and he just fought back to protect himself, causing an accidental injury to the elderly man.
Asking the court for leniency, the defense lawyer said Shiu had been a good nurse before the incident.
As evidence, the lawyer pointed out that Shiu had been commended by the hospital for five straight years between 2009 and 2013, according to Apple Daily.
Several letters from the defendant’s family and friends were also submitted to the judge in the hope that they will help Shiu receive a light sentence.
Delivering his ruling, the judge noted that what the defendant did was not excusable since he had breached the trust of patients, who should never expect to be assaulted by a nurse in hospital.
The judge also did not buy the story of self-defense, saying the claims were difficult to believe.
He noted that Tsang was said to have been wearing protective clothing with his hands strapped when the incident took place.
If the old man really kicked Shiu, the nurse could have easily avoided the blows by keeping a distance, the judge observed.
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