A MAN was high on drugs when he punched a hospital cafe worker after being accused of not paying for food he had eaten, a court has heard.

Drug dependant Michael Stephen Jones, 32, of no fixed abode, admitted to snorting a gram of cocaine and taking 10 ecstasy tablets before the attack, saying he had no recollection of why he was even at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital on Friday, March 20. After becoming embroiled in an argument with another of the cafe’s employee’s about whether he had paid for food, Joss Jones intervened, telling the defendant that he hadn’t done so. Jones saw red and punched the victim in the mouth, drawing blood, and when interviewed by police later, told them, “the guy I hit deserved it.”

Paul Abraham, prosecuting at Mold Magistrates Court, said how Jones had been restrained by hospital staff before police arrived at the scene to arrest him and while on his way to Llay Custody Suite, had violently kicked out at the walls of the vehicle and when taken inside the facility spat on the window of the cell door. Jones had only just been released from custody four days previously and told police officers how he was drug dependant and used every drug there is except crack cocaine and heroin. He had taken ten Mitsubishi tablets, which he believed to be ecstasy, and one gram of cocaine, before he ended up in the cafe at the Maelor where he assaulting Mr Jones.

Mr Abraham said that despite not understanding what had brought him to the Wrexham area, Jones told officers he had punched Mr Jones because “he deserved it” adding, “I wished I’d have hit the f****t even harder.” The punch had caused bleeding to the mouth of Mr Jones and the defendant, who has a history of violent offending, had actually been recalled to prison before this latest incident took place.

Mr Abraham added that although Mr Jones was not actually classed as an emergency worker, the fact it had happened in a hospital, whose staff are under immense pressure and strain due to the coronavirus pandemic, he asked for the bench to treat the assault as a category one offence.

Nick Cross, defending, said his client had lost his temper after being accused of attempting to steal food from the hospital cafe. His reaction to being grabbed unexpectedly by one of the workers had been completely inappropriate. He had been under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident and Mr Cross went on to say that his client, who has ADHD as well as suffering brain damage when he was younger, meant he should be deemed a vulnerable person himself.

Penny Rogers, Chair of the Magistrates, told Jones that the assault had crossed the custody threshold as she ordered him to serve six weeks in prison.

She said: “The assault took place in a hospital setting and left Mr Jones with a cut to his mouth.”

As well as the six weeks he will serve, Jones was also ordered to pay his victim £50 in compensation, while he must also pay North Wales Police £106 for the cost of cleaning the cell door.