Man jailed for five years after threatening A&E staff with knife in Brighton

WATCH: A man threatened A&E staff in Brighton with a knife before being tasered by police.

A man who threatened hospital staff with a knife during an incident in Accident and Emergency in Brighton has been jailed for five years.

Joshua Byrne had attended the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Tuesday 3rd October in the day for treatment.

The 32-year-old was later seen outside the A&E department during a fire alarm after he had been discharged.

After arguing with security at around 11pm, Byrne became irate and entered A&E, threatening staff and members of the public.

CCTV from inside the hospital shows him lunge towards a security guard and shouting “I will stab you in the face”.

He took a mobile phone from a patient by force, and narrowly missed stabbing a nurse.

Multiple calls were made to the police and officers arrived at the scene within minutes.

Two officers from Sussex Police, PC Greg Devlin and PC Max Setra, used a taser to safely arrest Byrne.

He later told police that he carries a knife because he stole thousands of pounds from an Albanian drug dealer and felt the need to carry a knife "for protection".

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At Lewes Crown Court on February 20, Byrne admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, threatening a person while in possession of a bladed article in a public place, and affray.

Byrne, unemployed of Ingram Crescent East, Hove, was sentenced to five years in prison, which includes an extended licence period for a further three years.

Her Honour Judge Christine Laing KC praised the bravery and professionalism of the hospital staff and security guards, and the RPU officers who detained Byrne.

In particular, the hospital staff who kept calm under pressure and escorted patients and members of the public to safety, and protected other patients could not be moved during the incident.

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Rachel Carr said: "The actions of the hospital staff and security was incredible that night.

"It was a distressing incident for everyone in the hospital, but the staff’s professional actions ensured vulnerable patients were protected.

"Byrne’s actions were highly reckless, putting his own safety and the safety of everyone else at risk.

"He was swiftly arrested, and we are pleased that a dangerous criminal has now been sentenced."

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Chief Inspector Simon Yates, said: "We know that there is increased concern from the public about knife crime.

"Stories in the media and social media can increase these concerns, and can lead some individuals to arm themselves with a knife in a misguided attempt to protect themselves.

"Sadly it is becoming commonplace for police officers to encounter weapons such as hunting knives and concealed weapons which have been purchased online, with few, if any, checks to prevent them being used in crime.

"We know that knife crime can destroy the lives of those impacted, their families and loved ones, and our communities.

"Those who carry them often don’t appreciate this impact, and don’t appreciate that by carrying a knife, they are far more likely to become a victim of knife crime themselves.

"It is a priority of Sussex Police to tackle knife crime and serious violence, to educate people about knife safety, and to work with partners to reduce knife crime and fear of knife crime to keep our communities safe."