Flintshire patient was too drunk to remember abusing doctor

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A DRUNKEN patient subjected a doctor to a torrent of abuse.

Wayne Whitehead, 29, called a locum doctor at his surgery “a black head”, a court was told yesterday.

But Whitehead told his victim he was not being racist and that he didn’t like the other doctors at the practice either.

His rant led him to Flintshire magistrates’ court at Mold where he admitted a racially aggravated public order charge.

Whitehead, of Moorfields, Holway, Holywell, was bailed pending sentence, on condition that he does not enter The Pennant Surgery at Holywell or contact prosecution witnesses.

He claimed he was so drunk he could remember very little about it.

Prosecutor Matthew Ellis said the defendant went to the surgery on December 13 for pain killers for a pain in his elbow after a fall in the snow – and for help with his alcohol problem.

Locum doctor Shekar Nagaraj prescribed him pain killers and suggested a self-referral to the drugs and alcohol service on Deeside. But the defendant wanted the doctor to refer him there.

Whitehead raised his voice, became agitated and aggressive and was pointing his finger into the doctor's face and said: “I don't like black head doctors.”

The defendant then said: “I am not a racist – I don't like all the doctors here.”

The victim was of Indian descent, felt threatened and insulted, but felt he could not leave the consultation room because the defendant was standing in front of the only door.

He feared for his safety, feared the defendant would assault him, and was shocked and upset.

Whitehead was there for about 20 minutes and it was claimed he was aggressive for most of that time.

He kept walking around the room with his arms flailing and he continued to point towards his face.

The doctor tried to calm him down by telling him he was there to help him, but to no avail.

Interviewed, he told how he was an alcoholic who would drink between 12 and 24 cans of lager a day, and maybe two bottles of wine. That day he began drinking at
9am and had 12 cans before he went to the surgery.

He could not recall waiting in the reception area, recalled being called in by the doctor who he had not met before, but did not remember being aggressive towards him.

The defendant said he would not use the words “black head”.  He said he was sorry, that he had done it .

Defending solicitor Stephen Mullarkey said Whitehead, a father of four, had not touched a drop since the incident and now had a job to go to after a period of unemployment.

He wished to apologise for his actions. He had been struck off as a patient and was ashamed because he and his family felt a sense of loyalty to the surgery.

The defendant’s mother had recently died and the family had been grateful to everything that the doctors at the surgery had done for her.

That day he was heavily intoxicated and he was deeply remorseful and ashamed for what had happened.

It was accepted it had been a disgraceful incident although he had no recollection.

“He is sorting his life out. Since this incident at the doctor's surgery he indicates to me that he had not touched a drop of drink. This has been a wake up call for him,” said Mr Mullarkey.

While the appointment had been for 20 minutes the defendant believed it was only towards the end that matters became heated.

The doctor had also said a reason he did not wish to leave the consulting room was that there were personal records of other patients on the computer.

The defendant will be sentenced in late January.

See full story in the Leader

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