A patient at a secure psychiatric unit lashed out at a member of staff and fractured his nose, a court has been told.
Brendan Harris, 21, was an in-patient at Guild Lodge, part of Whittingham Hospital, near Preston, when he punched David Timson in the face. Harris was admitted to the unit following a decline in his mental health, as he has paranoid schizophrenia and has daily auditory and visual hallucinations.
The court heard he was sentenced for causing grievous bodily harm with intent in April 2008 and has a previous conviction for causing actual bodily harm dating back to 2007.
Harris told the court he believed the staff at Guild Lodge were gathering information about him to pass on to the government and would hear voices warning him not to trust anyone.
On January 10 a fellow patient was restrained after throwing a plate of food across the room.
Harris became concerned “something bad” was happening and told the court he feared it would also happen to him.
Harris became increasingly hostile towards staff, telling one man, Gary Sloan: “You need to watch how you are looking at people” and making threats to harm him.
A number of members of staff attempted to calm Harris down but after around 30 minutes it was decided the safest course of action would be to restrain him.
Iain Simkin, prosecuting, said: “As staff slowly approached Mr Harris in order to restrain him, he lashed out and punched David Timson in the face, fracturing his nose.
“The staff then successfully managed to restrain Mr Harris and put him in seclusion for his and their safety.”
Harris was later arrested and interviewed about the incident. He admitted striking Mr Timson but said he was acting in self defence and hit Mr Timson to get him away from him.
He told the jury: “I was paranoid. I wanted to be left alone and he was following me down the corridor. Something was going to happen.”
Harris denies unlawful wounding.