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Nurse attacked at Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Rochester

A nurse has lost the sight in one eye after being punched by a teenager at a youth jail.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was serving a four-month sentence for carrying an offensive weapon at Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Rochester when the attack happened.

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

Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution
Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution

It 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 after refusing to go back to his cell.

Paul Ramsamy, clinical nurse manager at the centre, went to visit the youth with an officer to make sure he had not been harmed while he was restrained.

The victim, who is in his 40s, 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 told him several times I was there to look after him... He has blinded me for the rest of my life" - prison nurse Paul Ramsamy

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 ever be able to go back to work again.”

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

Magistrates heard the 16-year-old has 32 previous convictions for offences including battery, robbery and assault.

The teenager addressed chairman of the bench Fiona Byers and told her he was sorry for what he had done. He said: “I didn’t mean to harm him. I’m trying to change.”

The youth was remanded in custody until sentencing at Medway Magistrates’ Court on March 28.

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