A voluntary patient at a North Wales psychiatric unit produced a knife and brandished it at nursing staff.

It turned out that while he was in town earlier in the day defendant Stephen Paul Martin, 31, had been too Morrison’s supermarket in Wrexham and bought the knife.

He had also bought some cocaine which he took before the frightening incident at The Hedfan Unit attached to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Mold Crown Court was told that Martin, of Glanrafon Road in Mold, suffered mental health issues and at the time falsely believed that staff might kill him and make it look like suicide.

He said that in the state he was in at the time he had purchased the knife for his own protection and had no intention of harming anyone.

But Judge Rhys Rowlands told him that while under the influence of cocaine he would not have been fully in control.

Judge Rowlands said the message had to go out that people who took knives onto hospital premises and waved them about at nursing staff had to go into custody.

Martin was jailed for 12 months.

Prosecuting barrister Anna Price said at 10pm he approached the nurse station and demanded a nurse’s security tag.

He refused and called for help as the defendant, who was agitated, kicked the doors open and entered the reception area.

The alarm was raised, other staff arrived and attempts were made to calm him down but he ran away and tried to get into an area known as The Hub.

Two nurses grabbed him by the arms but he then produced a knife with a three inch blade and waved it at them “in a threatening and intimidating manner”.

Police were called, all but four nurses were withdrawn and further attempts were made to calm him but he demanded that the staff let him out.

If staff moved towards the door he would approach with the knife pointing at them.

They were unable to calm him and he appeared to be under the influence of something – and he later told police that he had taken cocaine.

A further 999 call was made and police arrived, saw him with staff in reception, and he appeared to be hiding something.

But when officers entered he was immediately compliant and put the knife on the counter.

He calmed down but became agitated in the police car and kicked out at the doors, causing damage.

Martin had admitted affray, damage, possessing the knife and making a threat with the knife.

Interviewed, he told how during an episode he felt staff would try and kill him and make it look like suicide. He went out and bought the knife and returned with it to the unit having taken cocaine.

Defending barrister Maria Masselis said his mental health was clearly compromised that day.

He had a psychiatrist and a social worker and had agreed to the social worker’s suggestion that he should go the unit as a voluntary patient.

But he became concerned for his own safety within the unit and felt at times that he was under threat.

He struggled with the side effects of his medication and had taken cocaine that day.

Although the knife had been brandished no verbal threats had been made to do any specific individual any harm.

He had not intended to cause injury and had ample opportunity to do so.

The defendant had been an industrious man with qualifications but he had suffered from mental health problems for some time.

He was co-operating fully, he had stabilised while in custody and Miss Masselis suggested a possible suspended sentence.

Judge Rowlands said that it was too serious for that. He took into account his mental health problems but said the cannabis that he took did not help.

That day he had also taken cocaine.

“You produced the knife and waved it about.

“Understandably, it was a very frightening situation for staff,” said Judge Rowlands.

When police were called he behaved entirely rationally but then “kicked off” in the police car and caused damage.

He knew what he was doing when he bought the knife and the cocaine.

The defendant then took the knife back with him onto hospital premises where a number of vulnerable patients were being treated.

Judge Rowlands said he accepted that Martin did not intend to cause injury to any member of staff but he had taken cocaine which meant that he would not have been fully in control.