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Nurse Paul Ramsamy left blind in one eye after attack at Cookham Wood youth jail, Rochester

By Lynn Cox

A nurse might never return to work after being attacked by a 16-year-old thug who already had 32 convictions to his name.

Paul Ramsamy was left blind in one eye after being punched by the yob as he finished examining him.

The teenager had been restrained by officers at Cookham Wood Young Offenders’ Institution, Rochester, when the medic went to help.

Paul Ramsamy was left blind in one eye
Paul Ramsamy was left blind in one eye

Mr Ramsamy’s wife Rhian says the 47-year-old’s life has been totally changed by the attack.

And this week she slammed the boy’s 18-month sentence, calling it “disgusting”.

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, was serving a four-month sentence for carrying an offensive weapon at Cookham Wood Young Offenders’ Institution in Rochester when he hit Mr Ramsamy.

The boy pleaded guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm at Medway Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard the youth, who is currently at another young offenders institution in Stoke-on-Trent, had been restrained in the courtyard on the morning of November 11, last year, after refusing to go back to his cell.

Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution
Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution

Mr Ramsamy, who lives in Gillingham, is a clinical nurse manager at the centre. He went to visit the youth with an officer to make sure he had not been harmed while he was restrained.

Mr Ramsamy had finished the examination when the boy lashed out and punched him in the eye.

The court heard that CCTV footage from the hallway showed Mr Ramsamy staggering out of the cell and getting on all fours clutching his bleeding eye.

He was taken to Maidstone Hospital and underwent a five-hour operation but is now permanently blind in his left eye.

Prosecutor Andrew Jones read out Mr Ramsamy’s victim statement in court.

"I didn't mean to harm him. I'm trying to change" - Mr Ramsamy's attacker

He said: “I told him several times I was there to look after him. He has blinded me for the rest of my life. I have panic attacks. I have worked in prisons for 17 years and I’ve been in confrontational situations but this has affected me greatly.

“I honestly don’t know if I will be able to go back to work again.”

He added: “I feel very self-conscious about the way I look. I have to rely on my wife to take me to appointments or to just take me out.”

Magistrates heard the boy had 32 previous convictions for offences including battery, robbery and assault.

The teenager addressed the chairman of the bench at his last hearing and told Fiona Byers he was sorry for what he had done.

Paul Ramsamy might never return to work after the attack
Paul Ramsamy might never return to work after the attack

He said: “I didn’t mean to harm him. I’m trying to change.”

Magistrates ordered the youth be detained at a Young Offenders’ Institute for 18 months for the grievous bodily harm offence.

He was also ordered to pay Mr Ramsamy £500 in compensation.

During the sentencing, he also admitted another offence, an assault on a prison officer at Feltham Young Offenders Institution in West London, just a month after he attacked Mr Ramsamy, on December 13, last year.

Magistrates jailed him for four months for the assault offence, but that sentence will run concurrently.

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