Man who said he had 'spot in the morgue' for Southmead Hospital worker jailed

Billy Yates has been jailed for six weeks after threatening Southmead Hospital staff. Credit: BPM Media

A Bristol man has been jailed after threatening to kill a worker at Southmead Hospital.

Billy Yates, of Greenditch Avenue in Hartcliffe, said he had a “spot in the morgue” ready for one hospital worker and told another he would “smash someone’s face in”.

The 30-year-old appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on January 7 and admitted two counts of sending threatening communications to the hospital.

He has been jailed for six weeks and “red-carded” from Southmead Hospital, meaning he cannot be treated there other than in its A&E Department.

Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Credit: ITV West Country

District judge Lynne Matthews said that Yates is a diabetic and was being supported by the hospital, including a dietician.

He called 120 times over a bank holiday weekend and was given a contract that he would not intimidate or use derogatory language against staff.

The court heard the dietician stopped providing support to Yates because of his behaviour.

Yates called the hospital on 17 October, 2019, and spoke to a worker in the complaints department, committing his first count of sending threatening communications.

During the call, he demanded the dietician should be fired. He said: “I’m not going to let her get away with this. I feel like killing her.

“I have asked for a spot in the morgue to be ready for her, because that’s where she’s going. I’m going to kill her."

Yates’ second offence came on November 6, 2019, when he called the hospital to make another complaint.

He told a staff member: “If I don’t get answers by 12, I’m going to smash someone’s face in.”

Worker has 'major' fears over her safety

The court heard a statement from the dietician, who said she had “major” fears for her safety.

She said: “I fear Billy will turn up at the hospital or I will bump into him while I am out and about.

“While he has not shown up at the hospital, I am still afraid something might happen. I do not know why his focus is on me.”

Yates will no longer be treated at Southmead Hospital - except at A&E. Credit: ITV West Country

Yates' lawyer Dianne Heys said he was “genuinely remorseful” for his actions. She added: “He knows his temper got the better of him and it was completely unacceptable.

“He says he didn’t realise just how much of an impact his words had."

Yates helps care for his grandmother who may have just weeks to live.

In sentencing, Judge Matthews said: “I have been particularly moved by the fact you have a member of your family with terminal illness having palliative care.

“I have crunched the sentence down to the minimum, but I’m afraid attacks on the NHS in this way must be immediate custody.

“I would be failing them if I sentenced you to anything else.”

She told Yates he will be out of prison after three weeks of his six-week sentence if he complies with prison rules.

Yates has also been given a three-year restraining order barring him from contacting the victims and he must pay the dietician £128 in compensation.


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