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Man jailed after smashing glass and causing injury to GP staff

Man jailed after smashing glass and causing injury to GP staff

A man who assaulted GP staff and smashed a glass screen at a surgery in Kent has been jailed for 42 weeks.

Kent Police said that after attending Brewer Street Surgery in Maidstone, Darren Turpin, 55, ‘caused a disturbance in a reception area’ where he punched a glass screen that shattered, causing cuts to the hand and face of a member of staff.

He then fled the scene but was tracked down and arrested in the town centre by constables from the neighbourhood policing team.

The force also said that while in custody, Turpin threw food and drinks within a cell and in a consultation area and on the following day, he was given a cup of coffee in a police station interview room where he then threw the hot liquid in an officer’s face.

Turpin, of no fixed address, was charged by investigators from the Maidstone Victim Based Crime Team, with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault of an emergency worker and four counts of criminal damage.

He appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on 11 April where he pleaded guilty to all the charges as well as an additional indictment of breaching a criminal behaviour order, and was sent to jail for 42 weeks. 

District Commander for Maidstone chief inspector Mark McLellan said that those who work in the medical profession should be able to assist the public ‘without suffering abuse or attacks’.

He said: ‘When Turpin caused a disturbance at a local surgery and assaulted one of the staff, he was subject to a criminal behaviour order requiring him not to use abusive or threatening language or behaviour in a public place.

‘It is apparent he clearly has no respect for the law and his behaviour was offensive, intimidating and entirely unacceptable.

‘This is a repeat offender with a lengthy history of criminal convictions and whose conduct at the police station was equally disgraceful, assaulting one of my officers in a manner that could easily have resulted in a permanent injury.’

There have been many instances of abuse towards GP practice staff in recent months.

Three GP surgeries in North Lincolnshire had to suddenly close last week after the police alerted them of a ‘threat’.

And in January a man has was charged with criminal damage and abusive behaviour after smashing windows and glass panels at a GP practice in Bristol.

In November, a man was arrested in Stoke-on-Trent after GP staff were threatened with a knife, and another man was arrested in Sheffield after an assault on two GP registrars with a baseball bat. 

Pulse’s investigation into the effects of abuse last year showed a 16% rise in crimes involving violence at GP surgeries since 2019, after a drop in incidents during the pandemic.