A MAN who battered a student nurse over the head with a pool cue has been jailed for more than two years.

Samuel Smith attacked the woman while he was being treated in a mental hospital after two earlier assaults on police officers.

The 30-year-old launched the brutal assault on the student nurse on May 14 this year while she was on duty alone on a ward in Middlesbrough’s Roseberry Park.

Smith swung the pool cue at her head but she managed to move out of the way as the first blow struck her shoulder, however, as she fell to her knees he smashed the cue over her head leaving a gaping wound.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Smith had assaulted a police officer on May 11 after they were called to Stockton High Street when he was acting in a ‘frantic’ state in the early hours of the morning.

The Northern Echo: Samuel SmithSamuel Smith

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said the defendant told the officers that he wanted to be taken to Roseberry Park hospital and ‘if they didn’t he was going to jump off a bridge’.

He then said he had taken an overdose so the officers took him to hospital to be treated but than attempted to run away which was the officer was kicked as he tried to apprehend the defendant.

Mr Newcombe said that the following day, Smith attacked a different officer hitting him and trying to bite him.

Dealing with the assault on the student nurse, Mr Newcombe added: “He grabbed a pool cue and taking up an aggressive position he attempted to strike her with it but she managed to turn her head away and he struck her across the shoulder.

“He kept hold of the cue and raised it above his head and then brought it down on the head of the helpless nurse, splitting her skull open which needed four staples to close up.”

In a victim impact statement, the student nurse said the attack had left her questioning whether she wanted to continue in the profession.

Smith, of Cranbourne Terrace, Stockton, pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting an emergency worker, one of unlawful wounding and further offence of criminal damage after he smashed a window at a bail hostel on May 19.

Shaun Dryden, in mitigation, said his client was a heavy user of synthetic drug Spice.

He added: “He does have a lot of genuine problems but he compounds this by having a long history of drug abuse.”

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced Smith to two years and four months in custody for the unlawful wounding offence and shorter, concurrent sentences for the other three charges.

She said: "These are nasty and unpleasant offences because all of the people you assaulted were people who were trying to help you in different ways."