A DOCTOR said he had never been so frightened in his entire career when a patient threatened to attack him because he refused him a sick note.
Dr Jonathan Lolljee said he felt scared and intimidated by Anthony Turner who, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard, has anger management issues and threatened to “sort out” the doctor at Wynyard Road medical centre in Hartlepool.
In 10 years as a doctor I have never experienced this level of fear and distressDr Jonathan Lolljee
Describing the incident on November 7, prosecutor Katherine Hannah said: “He entered a private consultation room to see the doctor but when he went in the defendant became aggressive and agitated because the refused to give him a note.
“He made some threats saying ‘I’m sick and tired of this, I’m going to sort you out’.”
Dr Lolljee left the room but Turner followed him down the corridor and into reception.
Ms Hannah added: “The defendant continued to display aggressive behaviour towards the doctor.
“Both his fists were clenched and he was moving towards the doctor in a threatening manner.”
In a victim statement read out in court Dr Lolljee said: “In 10 years as a doctor I have never experienced this level of fear and distress.
“I’m scared and intimidated because Turner threatened to come back and beat me up.”
Turner, 41, who has 18 convictions for 52 offences on his record, admitted common assault.
But John Relton, mitigating, said Turner had made a formal complaint over the doctor’s alleged conduct.
Mr Relton said: “Having been to the surgery many times before for a repeat sick note he was confronted by a doctor he had never seen before who made some inappropriate insensitive nature against my client that provoked him into reacting the way he did.”
Turner, of Wynyard Mews, Hartlepool, was given a 12- month community order and told to pay £50 compensation to Dr Lolljee plus £50 court costs.
Local health managers say they support a “zero-tolerance” stance on assaults on GPs and special measures are in place for violent patients.
A spokesperson for NHS England (Cumbria and North East) said: “The NHS operates in accordance with the government’s zero tolerance policy for reducing abuse and violence in GP practices, all patients are entitled to receive high-quality care and good access to services, in a safe environment.
“To support this approach, a violent patient scheme is in place.
“The aim is to make sure patients identified through the scheme have appropriate access to GP services, while ensuring GPs, staff, patients and bystanders do not come under threat or occurrence of violence.
“We have highly trained doctors in place who are able to provide care to patients listed on the scheme.”