Cassie Joe Melvin, 32, was sentenced to 12 months jail.
Cassie Joe Melvin, 32, was sentenced to 12 months jail.

Women jailed for ‘abhorrent’ assault on hospital nurse

An unsedated woman who assaulted a nurse while undergoing a clinical trial at the Townsville University Hospital has been slammed by a judge.

Cassie Joe Melvin, 32, was a patient at the hospital undergoing a trial plasma transfusion when she went to a different ward to visit her brother, who was also a patient at the hospital.

The Townsville District Court heard that on October 28, 2017, Melvin's brother told her he was unhappy with his care at the hospital.

 

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Crown prosecutor Joshua Frances told the court Melvin walked over to the nurse her brother made the complaint about and started to yell and swear at her.

The court heard the nurse tried to defend herself, telling Melvin to stop and listen, but Melvin retaliated and slapped the nurse's face.

Melvin pleaded guilty to one count of serious assault public officer performing function.

Defence barrister Travis Schmitt explained his client suffered from serious epilepsy and had stopped taking her medication for the hospital trial treatment.

"As part of that she had to stay off her usual epilepsy medications with the view to encourage an epileptic fit so surgeons could view the effects of a plasma transfusion," he said.

 

Townsville General Hospital.
Townsville General Hospital.

"Epilepsy medication usually has some form of sedative effect on the brain and with those not being taken it caused her to be in a more agitated state."

Judge Gregory Lynham told Melvin her actions were "abhorrent".

"No one, and least of all someone working in a hospital, deserves to go to work exposed to the risk a patient who is at the hospital receiving care might assault them," he said.

"It is appalling behaviour, Ms Melvin, and regardless of whatever rationale that you feel to justify your behaviour, I make it very clear to you that there was no justification."

Melvin was sentenced to 12 months' jail, wholly suspended, and put on a 12-month probation order.

Convictions were recorded.

Originally published as Women jailed for 'abhorrent' assault on hospital nurse



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