Critical care nurse, 47, ‘was stabbed by man furious at Covid visiting restrictions’


Nurse Joanne Kelly, 47, was stabbed as she tried to calm a man who allegedly exploded with rage over visiting restrictions imposed because of Covid.

Nurse Joanne Kelly, 47, was stabbed as she tried to calm a man who allegedly exploded with rage over visiting restrictions imposed because of Covid.

A critical care nurse who worked through the pandemic was stabbed as she tried to calm a man who allegedly exploded with rage over visiting restrictions imposed because of Covid. 

Joanne Kelly, 47, was rushed into theatre for surgery in the hospital where she works in Wolverhampton yesterday but her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Armed police swooped on the accident and emergency department and arrested the suspect, 21, on suspicion of wounding after he was pinned down by security guards. 

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said today: ‘We arrested a man after a staff member was stabbed at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, just before 11am yesterday.

‘Fortunately, the woman’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. A 21-year-old man was detained on suspicion of wounding. Anyone with information is asked to contact us.’

Witnesses claimed that the suspect was spotted in A&E getting more and more upset and Mrs Kelly tried to reassure him – but he pulled a knife and stabbed her.

A source told The Sun: ‘Apparently she was stopped by a man who was questioning her about Covid restrictions and visiting hours.

‘He was agitated and she was trying to calm him down. Then she was stabbed. Security guards detained him quickly.’

New Cross Hospital has been running a pilot scheme to make it easier for visitors during the pandemic but this had to be paused because of rising Covid cases in the area.  

Lee Butler tweeted about the incident: ‘Can’t believe text I’ve just had off my Mrs. She works up new cross & a member of staff has just been stabbed’, adding: ‘Scum everywhere.’

A police car parked outside New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, after the stabbing yesterday

A police car parked outside New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, after the stabbing yesterday

A police car parked outside New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, after the stabbing yesterday

It came after a local paramedic stabbed by a man she had gone to help told him in court ‘you took all that I am away from me’, as he was jailed for nine years for the attack earlier this month.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is buying nearly 1,300 bodycams and, later this year, 22 ambulance crew members will volunteer to trial body armour.

It comes after 1,162 physical attacks against staff in the last year, a 60 per cent rise in the past five years. Verbal assaults have more than doubled.

Martyn Smith, 53, was sent to prison at Wolverhampton Crown Court, after admitting two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said.

Paramedic Deena Evans was stabbed once in the chest, while fellow medic Michael Hipgrave, known as Mick, was knifed in the back trying to shield his colleague during a 12-second attack at a maisonette in Stephens Close, Wolverhampton, on July 6, last year.

In an extract from her victim impact statement, read in court, Ms Evans told Smith: ‘I came to help you.

‘I said your name, asked if you were OK, and then you jumped out and stabbed me’. 

Ms Evans was taken to hospital and spent three days receiving treatment, including emergency surgery following complications with the wound.

Deena was stabbed once in the chest, while Mick (pictured right) was slashed across his back trying to shield his colleague. Pictured, shocking body camera footage

Deena was stabbed once in the chest, while Mick (pictured right) was slashed across his back trying to shield his colleague. Pictured, shocking body camera footage

Deena was stabbed once in the chest, while Mick (pictured right) was slashed across his back trying to shield his colleague. Pictured, shocking body camera footage

Deena Evans after the stabbing incident (pictured). Smith was jailed for nine years after admitting two counts of wounding with intent against the West Midlands Ambulance Service workers

Deena Evans after the stabbing incident (pictured). Smith was jailed for nine years after admitting two counts of wounding with intent against the West Midlands Ambulance Service workers

Deena Evans after the stabbing incident (pictured). Smith was jailed for nine years after admitting two counts of wounding with intent against the West Midlands Ambulance Service workers

Deena Evans (pictured), 40, broke down in tears as she appeared on ITV's This Morning and recalled how she and colleague Mick Hipgrave, 52, were attacked by Martyn Smith, 52, who had two eight-inch kitchen knives after they entered his home for a welfare check in Wolverhampton in July last year

Deena Evans (pictured), 40, broke down in tears as she appeared on ITV's This Morning and recalled how she and colleague Mick Hipgrave, 52, were attacked by Martyn Smith, 52, who had two eight-inch kitchen knives after they entered his home for a welfare check in Wolverhampton in July last year

Deena Evans (pictured), 40, broke down in tears as she appeared on ITV’s This Morning and recalled how she and colleague Mick Hipgrave, 52, were attacked by Martyn Smith, 52, who had two eight-inch kitchen knives after they entered his home for a welfare check in Wolverhampton in July last year

Mr Hipgrave, 52, of Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, was discharged from hospital later the same evening, after treatment for a wound to his back.

In her statement read in court Ms Evans, who described herself as a single parent and mother-of-three, said: ‘I trained for three years and have two degrees, all to do my job, to come and help people like you, like on July 6 where, as I stepped through your door, I came to help you.’

She described losing her independence in the weeks after the attack as ‘soul-destroying’.

Ms Evans, who has returned to work, said chest muscle damage had left her in pain ‘every single day’ often leaving her ‘in tears’, while ‘numbness’ in her arm ‘may be permanent’.

She added: ‘I will forever look down and see my scar across my chest, painful and lumpy, a constant reminder of you and what you did. That day, you took all that I am away from me – you took my confidence, my humour, my trusting nature and my happiness.’

West Midlands Ambulance Servuce is buying nearly 1,300 bodycams and, later this year, 22 ambulance crew members will volunteer to trial body armour.

It comes after 1,162 physical attacks against staff in the last year, a 60 per cent rise in the past five years. Verbal assaults have more than doubled.



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