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Thornford Park patient turns violent over soft drink order

Detainee with long-term schizophrenia rains punches on healthcare assistant

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628


A PATIENT at Thornford Park Hospital turned violent, severely injuring a staff member, a court heard.

The incident happened while the victim was alone because most other health care assistants at the medium secure psychiatric unit at Crookham Hill, Thatcham, were “preoccupied” with serving lunch, Reading magistrates were told on Thursday, May 31.

The attacker was 36-year-old Guy Shackleton-McLean, who suffers from schizophrenia and is being detained indefinitely, said Chris White, prosecuting.

He added: “The healthcare assistant took delivery of a parcel of soft drinks for the defendant which he had ordered online.

“Because of the volume of the order he was told he was only allowed to get half in one go.”

That was the trigger for Mr Shackleton-McLean to launch his attack.

Mr White said he rained punches on Augustine Gorejena, striking him repeatedly in the face before locking his arm around his victim’s neck to continue the onslaught.

The court heard Mr Gorejena suffered injuries so severe he was unable to return to work for weeks and remained shaken by his ordeal.

Mr Shackleton-McLean admitted committing assault by beating on February 28.

He also has several previous convictions for serious offences of violence and wounding, for one of which he served a five-year prison sentence before being transferred to the high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor, at Crowthorne.

He is now being detained indefinitely in Thornford Park, said Mr Robert Jakes, defending.

Mr Jakes said his client was suffering from long-term schizophrenia and blamed a change in medication for his latest violent episode.

He explained that Shackleton-McLean had snapped over the soft drink issue because that was one of the few areas of his life over which he felt he could exercise some personal autonomy.

Magistrates imposed no punishment except making a compensation order under which Mr Shackleton-McLean must pay his victim £200.

Thornford Park was last in the news in March when convicted rapist and child killer Peter Pickering died there.

In 2016, residents were urged to trust security at the hospital following reports that a notorious serial killer dubbed the Stockwell Strangler had been moved there.

Kenneth Erskine was jailed for a minimum of 40 years in 1988 after sexually molesting and killing seven pensioners in a terrifying spree.

John Maguire, a medium-risk patient, escaped from the facility in July 2014.

Mr Maguire used bedsheets to scale the 5.2-metre perimeter fence and was located at Birmingham New Street railway station four days later.

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