Thug jailed for punching doctor at hospital where half of A&E staff are off sick

A man has been jailed after punching a doctor in the face as he treated coronavirus patients.

Gareth Rudge, 34, attacked the medic at the Accident and Emergency department of the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport – where half the A&E staff have contracted the virus.

The NHS staff member in question has been praised for continuing his shift after being assaulted, as the Covid-19 UK death toll passes 10,000.

Rudge, of no fixed address, was arrested at the hospital after attacking the doctor at around 12.50am on Friday, April 10.

He pleaded guilty to assault by beating of an emergency worker at Cardiff Magistrates Court on Saturday.

Within 36 hours of the attack, he had been jailed for six months at an emergency Bank Holiday court hearing.

Police Constable Sam Louros, the officer in the case, said: ‘The doctor is working in the middle of a pandemic, helping those in our society who desperately need medical assistance.

‘He was assaulted while carrying out his public duty and continued his shift after the incident, caring for those who require it.’

Speaking after the case, PC Louros added: ‘Assaults on emergency service workers should never be tolerated.

‘Emergency service personnel come to work to protect and help those in need – not to be assaulted.

‘This sentence shows that incidents such as this are totally unacceptable and there can be no excuse whatsoever for assaulting emergency workers.’