Hospital worker nearly blinded by patient

PUBLISHED: 10:38 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:56 19 May 2010

A HOSPITAL worker nearly lost an eye when a patient stabbed him with a pen, a court heard. Robert Mhlontlo was told he was lucky not to be blinded after Tom Wilson used the object as a weapon and jabbed it into his face. It missed the mental health worker

A HOSPITAL worker nearly lost an eye when a patient stabbed him with a pen, a court heard.

Robert Mhlontlo was told he was lucky not to be blinded after Tom Wilson used the object as a weapon and jabbed it into his face.

It missed the mental health worker's eyeball by a fraction, causing damage to his tear gland and leaving a deep cut.

Mr Mhlontlo, who needed three stitches after the attack at Royston's Kneesworth House Hospital, said: "I found it very traumatic. I feared I might lose my eye. If I had done so I would have lost my livelihood."

Wilson, who had been at Kneesworth House for several years under Section Three of the Mental Health Act, had been placed in seclusion after two other attacks on staff.

On December 31 last year the 25-year-old grabbed and squeezed Lia Villaruel's breast and caused her to cry out with pain.

He also tried to stab Azeez Emiola with a pen on January 18. However he only punched his victim in the face after the pen failed to protrude from his fist.

On that occasion he caused bleeding and swelling to Mr Emiola's nose.

In a copycat attack on February 6, Wilson said to Mr Mhlontlo: "Give me your pen and I'll show you a trick." He then stabbed it in the corner of his eye.

Prosecutor Paul Brown confirmed that Mr Mhlontlo was "very fortunate not to be blinded".

He added: "It narrowly missed his eyeball. He stepped away holding his face. He says that a large amount of blood started to flow from his eye."

Defence solicitor Christina Metcalfe said Wilson was "sorry" for the attack.

The case has now been sent to a crown court for sentence after Wilson pleaded guilty to the three assaults at Cambridge Magistrates' Court on Friday.

He was given unconditional bail until the hearing and will return to Kneesworth House Hospital.

Magistrate Diana Smith said: "The victim suffered serious injuries and could have been blinded by the attack.

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