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PRISON: Dale Cooper, 57, jailed for punching nurse and racial abuse at guards

Friday 23rd April 2021

A PATIENT at Maidstone Hospital has been jailed for a year for assaulting a nurse and hurling racial abuse at staff.

Homeless Dale Cooper (57) punched a female member of nursing staff in the face and shouting repeated racist remarks to security guards.

Cooper racially abused his first victim at around 12.35am on Wednesday,  April 21, whilst also threatening to assault him.

A nurse, who heard the altercation, ordered Cooper to leave the hospital.

But he shouted "I have a right to be racist if I want to" and then, moments later, punched her in the face.

Cooper was restrained by three members of security, who were subjected to further racial abuse and assaults.

Police charged him with two counts of racially aggravated assault, three counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker and a further six counts relating to public order offences, of which four were racially aggravated.

He appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on April 22 and after pleading guilty was sentenced on the same day.

Miles Scott, chief executive at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, added: "Our staff have the right to work in an environment where they feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.

"The great majority of our patients and visitors treat our staff with consideration and are grateful for the care we provide. Unfortunately, there are a very small minority who do not."

Sergeant Craig Chalmers-Stevens said: "Cooper’s behaviour was utterly appalling, and no one should have to tolerate the torrent of vile abusive language and violence he displayed.

"I’m delighted the courts have delivered justice so swiftly as Cooper is a persistent offender and a menace, not only to emergency workers including hospital staff and police, but to the wider public."