Patient cleared of sexual assault at Welwyn Garden City hospital

A PATIENT accused of smearing faeces in a nurse’s face before groping her, has been cleared by a jury.

Keith Hughes told St Albans Crown Court the day he ended up in the QE2 Hospital was the “worst day of his life”.

The jury of six men and six women heard evidence from a female nurse who told them the 45-year-old defendant had sworn at her in a toilet before attacking her last summer.

She told the court: “I was shocked, I had never been handled in that way.”

Prosecutor Louis French said: “This woman was entirely able to cope with drunks and people who were unco-operative, but this was different.

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“The nurse was doing her best to try to treat and help him, he was thoroughly obnoxious to her.

“She came out of the room because of the smell and he was exposing himself.”

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He added: “He decides to wipe his hands over her, she remembers the smell.”

Mr French added the nurse did not report the incident immediately as it caused her great distress.

Mr Hughes had been taken by ambulance to the WGC hospital after being chased by a group of youths in London Colney.

He said he had drunk seven pints of Guinness and somehow ended up being chased and beaten up.

The court heard he was so scared for his life he defecated himself. He admitted being verbally abusive to the hospital staff, but denied touching the nurse. He said: “I didn’t touch her face, I didn’t touch her breasts.”

After a four day trial, the jury cleared Hughes, of Sherbourne Avenue, Luton, after deliberating for less than an hour-and-a-half.

As the jury filed out Mr Hughes shouted: “Thank you. I really appreciate it, you’ve given me a chance of life there.”

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