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Man knocked GP and staff unconscious with metal pole, trial hears

Man knocked GP and staff unconscious with metal pole, trial hears

A man attacked a doctor and staff with a metal barrier pole at his GP surgery when he couldn’t get an appointment for a repeat prescription, a trial has heard.

In September 2021, Olumuiwa Oduntan, 61, repeatedly called Florence House in Manchester and was told by staff he had to make a request online as he had previously, but Mr Oduntan ‘demanded’ an appointment.

When he was told there were no appointments available, he is alleged to have said: ‘Tell you what, I’m coming down there now, I better get arrested today, I want to speak to a doctor.’

Mr Oduntan arrived at the surgery 15 minutes later. He became angry, saying: ‘F***ing call the police and get me arrested.’

The receptionist and another member of staff said they were going to call the police, before he picked up a metal post and smashed the screen at the front desk, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

‘He then jumped over the desk carrying the barrier, then used it to attack members of staff. He struck the lady over the head with the barrier, knocking her unconscious,’ prosecutor Jonathan Savage said.

‘One of the doctors [Dr Shabbir Ahmed] came out to see what the commotion was about. He tried to calm him down but was also hit over the head and that caused him to lose consciousness.

‘The practice manager then jumped on the defendant’s back when they saw the defendant attack the doctor and they were thrown to the floor and another member of staff was at some point struck across the head by the defendant with the barrier and injured.’

Mr Oduntan left and was later arrested after contacting his MP’s office, named in court documents as Lucy Powell, asking for help to contact a solicitor because he was ‘in trouble’, Mr Savage said.

Mr Oduntan has pleaded guilty to an offence of affray; three offences of causing grievous bodily harm; and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He denies three counts of wounding with intent.

The court heard he was suffering from a form of schizophrenia at the time and was being treated.

As jurors were shown the chrome barrier, Mr Savage said: ‘The prosecution say the fact he used this as a weapon is clear evidence he intended to cause really serious harm to those people. The fact the defendant not only assaulted one person with this but went out to assault others is clear evidence of his intent to cause really serious harm.’

Louisa Wright, a prescription discharge coordinator, initially spoke to Mr Oduntan when he phoned the practice three times that morning.

‘I explained I couldn’t just sanction it, the procedure was to email a request. We would have to have evidence of what a patient needed,’ she told jurors.

‘He had done that previously. He then explained that the emails were bouncing back, so I suggested he emailed the general GP email. I asked him to try again but nothing was coming in, so I gave him the option if he had difficulty to come down and put a request in the box outside.’

She said he appeared to be ‘fine’ on the phone, but was getting more ‘irate’ towards the end of the conversation. Moments later one of her colleagues said she had also spoken to Mr Oduntan and he’d told her he was going to come down to the surgery and ‘get himself arrested’, the jury heard.

Ms Wright said she then saw Mr Oduntan outside the reception area, and that he must have followed another patient who had gone to the surgery for an appointment, as the doors were controlled due to the Covid pandemic.

The witness added: ‘I went to the front desk and he got his phone out and was saying something about patient access. He was getting really angry and aggressive, and one of my colleagues came out and told him to calm down. He wasn’t calming down at all.

‘The practice manager came out and was asking him to calm down. He was being quite abusive, saying “this is a f***ing joke”. I said “if you don’t leave, I’m going to call the police”, and he responded “f***ing go and call the police and get me arrested”.’

Ms Wright said she went back into her office and called the police, before hearing an ‘almighty smash of glass’. When she turned around she saw Mr Oduntan with the metal pole, she said.

‘He was swinging it and swinging it, and he hit me with the base of it, to my arm, then my head, then down my left side,’ she added.

A member of staff had pressed the panic alarm, before another staff member Anna George recalled seeing Dr Ahmed coming out of his office.

‘He hit him with it, I thought he killed him, I thought he was dead,’ Ms George told jurors. ‘Dr Ahmed fell to the floor, and he hit him on the back whilst he was on the floor. I’ve never been through anything like that and I hope I never see anything like that again. That was the worst, most violent thing I have ever seen in my life.’

Dr Ahmed told jurors he had been in his office when a panic alarm message flashed up on his computer screen, reading ‘reception requiring assistance’.

He said he thought it was in relation to a medical emergency and went out, before seeing Mr Oduntan ‘wielding’ the metal pole with two hands.

‘He looked like the grim reaper,’ Dr Ahmed said. ‘I said something along the lines of “stop, stop, put it down, put it down”. He then came towards me with it, took a swing and the base of it hit my head in the right temple area.’

Dr Ahmed said he fell unconscious, and only later learned he had been hit on the back, fracturing four bones in his spine. He also suffered from a fracture to the front of his skull, the court heard.

Mr Oduntan, of Herne Street, Openshaw, denies three offences of wounding with intent.

After the attack in September 2021, Pulse reported that two of the victims had been hospitalised with head injuries.

Mr Oduntan appeared in court a month later after being charged with nine offences.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

A B 13 March, 2024 3:27 pm

Just the kind of thing Lord Bethell was facing down at the Ministry of Sound no doubt

So the bird flew away 13 March, 2024 4:30 pm

No doubt. But the fella’s moved on now to deleting messages, arranging contracts and roasting GPs.

Jamal Hussain 13 March, 2024 10:41 pm

This is shocking and unacceptable. I hope everyone involved has fully recovered.
It’s interesting that you can only get a repeat prescription if you have email or you can use email or know someone who can do it for you by email and you can’t do it over the phone or in person by ticking the box on a slip and leaving it in a box at reception. It’s certainly cheaper that way to deliver the service. But when the schizophrenic can’t make his email work and the only option you’re offering him is try another email address the entry to your practice better be designed like the entrance to the police station. Some would say that I’m victim blaming. That’s not where I’m coming from. The general public are frustrated in many areas at the degradation of services. With a shortage of GPs there is more choice as to where we work. The not to nice areas are going to be even less well doctored. If people are building new surgeries then the design needs to be adapted to the times with security in mind. We can’t give people what they feel they need and many may be absolutely correct. This man needed his tablets and the barrier to getting them was too high. There’s an argument to refitting clinics to make them safer. Reviewing lone working policies. There may be times when there’s only one GP and one receptionist working. Should the panic alarm be connected to the local police as people under attack may not be able to get to a phone.
Respect for GPs has been degraded over the last 20+ years by various Whitehall propaganda services. That isn’t a shield. Maybe rather than just doing CPR training it may be appropriate in some higher risk areas for staff to undertake training like cabin crew. I’m just putting it out there. To not learn from this, to not adapt, to not make any changes is lunacy in my view.

Bettina Schoenberger 14 March, 2024 2:49 am

…and never say calm down twice to someone who isn’t calm.

Finola ONeill 14 March, 2024 1:19 pm

Practice manager jumped on attackers back when he attacked the GP; that is what I call commitment, very touching. I’m being serious. Very committed staff there. Sounds very scary. This was all incited by the Daily Mail and their “you cannot get in contact with your GP” propaganda. Seems to have eased a bit now. Now that the country is more annoyed with the government than anyone else. Hey ho

John Graham Munro 14 March, 2024 7:05 pm

Patient clearly not receiving adequate treatment

A E 15 March, 2024 6:37 am

Fiona O’Neill

Point well made, that practice manager deserves a raise!

A E 15 March, 2024 6:40 am

Jamal Hussein – very much agree with your balanced analysis.

Scottish GP 17 March, 2024 2:32 pm

JGM, I distinctly remember you said you were leaving the forum. Such a shame we must miss your pithy insights. But you really should’ve stuck with plan A.

John Graham Munro 17 March, 2024 11:58 pm

To all my fans——I’m gone.