Therapist needed hepatitis test after client tried to 'cut her vein'

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AN OCCUPATIONAL therapist needed a test for hepatitis C after one of her clients tried to cut into a vein in her arms with his fingernails.

The Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday that Gary Wheadon became agitated and turned violent when his occupational therapist took him to the Hospital on November 16 last year, fearing he had taken an overdose.

Alongside two charges of assault, Wheadon (50) was also charged with drunk and disorderly behaviour, which took place near the White Horse pub in Grève d’Azette.

He pleaded guilty to all three charges, and was bound over to be of good behaviour for 12 months.

Advocate Sophie Lister, prosecuting, told the court that the occupational therapist had gone to Wheadon’s home to carry out a mental-health assessment.

‘He was intoxicated and was holding a bottle that was nearly empty,’ she said.

Fearing he might suffer an overdose for drinking while on medication, the occupational therapist called an ambulance and went with him to hospital.

‘In the ambulance, Mr Wheadon became aggressive and in the Hospital he became more agitated,’ the advocate said. ‘She called for assistance from a nurse.’

Wheadon fell from the bed, knocking the occupational therapist to the floor as he did so. When she tried to help him up he grabbed her left arm.

Advocate Lister explained: ‘He dug his fingernails into her. He was trying to cut her vein with his nails.’

The healthcare worker later took a blood test for hepatitis C, which proved negative.

On 23 April this year Wheadon was arrested near the White Horse. Advocate Lister said: ‘He was shouting at a group of males at the end of the slipway. He had had eight cans of beer and some other substances.

‘He was waving his fist in the air and making threats.’

Advocate James Bell, defending, pointed out that Wheadon had mental health problems and had just come out of Orchard House, the Island’s mental health facility, at the time.

‘He was still struggling,’ he said.

‘The officer who arrested him said Mr Wheadon was going through “a mental-health crisis”. Those were the exact words he used.’

He also said Wheadon had written a letter of apology and apologised to the occupational therapist in person.

Relief Magistrate David Le Cornu told Wheadon that offences of this nature usually resulted in ‘an immediate custodial sentence’, but he was taking into account his mental-health problems and the help he was receiving.

He said: ‘Take advantage of the chance the court is giving you and let’s hope it works.’

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