A CHARITY support worker was stabbed with a needle used by a heroin abuser unhappy on being told he was being evicted from a hostel, a court heard.

Due to “difficulties” during his stay, Callum Hay was asked to leave The Fells, a facility run by the charity Changing Lives, offering support and shelter to homeless men, at Plawsworth, near Chester-le-Street.

Durham Crown Court heard that he was told he could remain at the premises overnight on June 3, but that he was to leave the following morning.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said at 10pm a female support worker and a colleague took him back to his room, where there was evidence of drug paraphernalia on the floor and on the bed.

The support worker warned Hay to take care sitting on the bed as a needle lay uncapped.

But Hay, who was being unusually aggressive, picked it up and thrust it downwards into her right thumb, where it pierced the skin behind the nail, causing a sharp pain and flow of blood.

Mr Dryden said the victim felt it was a deliberate attack by Hay as her hand was at her side.

Police were called and on arrival arrested Hay, while the support worker was taken to hospital with a 1cm puncture wound.

She was left with the fear of contracting hepatitis B or HIV, for which she was given medication but had the ignominy of attending a genitourinary ward.

Mr Dryden said the attack had a detrimental impact on the worker, who had previously enjoyed her role at the hostel.

The 22-year-old defendant, who has been in custody since the incident, made some admissions in his police interview and pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.

Tony Davis, mitigating, said: “Plainly those in a position to assist young people like Mr Hay deserve better treatment. He accepts that.

“He was clearly in a highly distressed condition.

“He was addicted to heroin and bereft of any support structure other than the help he received from Changing Lives, which works with various agencies.

“He was homeless because of his drug addiction but wasn’t under the auspices of any formal order at the time and was clearly continuing to use drugs.

“In these circumstances these unfortunate injuries took place. He’s utterly remorseful about that.”

But Mr Davis said for the victim’s piece of mind Hay was willing to hand over medical records to prove he has never been diagnosed with hepatitis B or HIV.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said the attack has had, “a profoundly damaging impact” on a public service charity work.”

He passed a 20-month prison sentence and issued an indefinite restraining order prohibiting Hay from contacting either support worker or going to The Fells.