Published: 06:00, 22 September 2021
| Updated: 14:28, 22 September 2021
“Shocked” hospital patients were placed at risk in the height of the pandemic after a thug destroyed life-saving equipment.
Kevin Rajz, of Folkestone, became so enraged at Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital one witness became sick with fear.
The 24-year-old smashed up the echocardiogram causing more than £5,000 worth of damage and kicked two police officers who tried restraining him.
Rajz was handed a suspended prison sentence at Canterbury Crown Court after admitting affray and occasioning actual bodily harm.
Police were called to his home following concerns he was hallucinating after a drug binge in April last year, a week after lockdown.
Rajz’s erratic behaviour intensified after officers escorted him to the accident and emergency department, prosecutors explained.
“When a nurse tried to test the defendant’s heart rhythm by an ECG he started screaming,” barrister James Gwatkin said.
“You created a frightening and intimidating environment in the accident and emergency department..."
Rajz pulled off his Covid mask, kicked out at a nurse and two police officers, catching one in the face sending her hurtling across the emergency room.
Enraged Rajz then destroyed one of two echocardiogram machines intended for 20 patients, as the hospital’s capacity climbed to breaking point.
“No other machines could have been transferred because of potential contamination.
“It could have had severe ramifications for the patients at the time,” Mr Gwatkin added.
Judge Catherine Brown heard Rajz turned to drink and drugs following a family tragedy, with his “dangerous levels” of consumption culminating in the melee.
When Rajz, of previous good character, saw bodycam footage of his outburst during a police interview he “apologised repeatedly”, the court heard.
Judge Brown told him: “Public servants and medical staff and the NHS were under immense pressure - you were quite simply out of control.
“You created a frightening and intimidating environment in the accident and emergency department.
“You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself - but I accept you are.”
Handing Rajz a six month sentence suspended for 18 months, she added any violent offences will land him in prison.
Nicholas Jones, mitigating, highlighted Rajz had not offended for the previous 17 months, struggled with immaturity and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
“He has not drunk alcohol since that day, he has not touched drugs,” the barrister added.
Rajz, of Victoria Grove, admitted affray, actual bodily harm, assaulting an emergency worker and assault by beating at the first opportunity.
Judge Brown ordered Rajz to complete 25 rehabilitation requirement days, 200 hours unpaid work and to appear before her in six months for a review.