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Nurse at Queen’s left girlfriend with ‘severe’ injuries

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 18, 2013

burton magistrates court

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A SUSPENDED nurse at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital found guilty of a vicious assault on his girlfriend has narrowly escaped a prison sentence.

Mark Tuckley, 44, of Park Road, Barton under Needwood, may never be able to work in the profession again after being handed a 12-month community order by Burton Magistrates Court for assaulting his girlfriend of 18 months Sarah Harding.

He had previously denied the offence but was found guilty after a trial.

Emma Thompson, prosecuting, said the victim was left with ‘severe’ injuries to her ribs and body and could not even remember the assault which was witnessed by a neighbour.

She said Miss Harding had to take two weeks off work to recover from the ‘physical and psychological results of the attack’ which happened just after 10pm on May 4 last year.

She told the court: “The victim said she and the defendant had been out drinking together and had both had a few drinks but were not drunk.

“She cannot recall the attack but a neighbour looked out of his window after hearing the two shouting and saw what followed.”

The court heard that Tuckley was seen to punch Miss Harding with a clenched fist and drag her by the hair to the rear garden and pushed her to the floor.

The witness also saw the male stamp on the victim repeatedly and punch her to the chest in the six-minute long attack and also threaten to kill her.

The neighbour called the police and Tuckley was arrested.

Richard Davenport, defending, said: “My client is 44 and has never been before the courts before. There is no history of domestic violence reported – what happened on that night was completely and totally out of character.

“He is a male nurse at Queen’s Hospital in Burton so spends his day caring for other people and is a caring person. Only he knows why he behaved like he did that night.

“This is a complete and utter one-off and has already had a grave effect on his life. He is now suffering from depression and has been suspended on full play from his job and thinks it is likely he will lose his job.

“Whether he will be struck off by the General Medical Council is in the lap of the Gods and it may be that he won’t be able to work as a nurse again.”

Mr Davenport added that Tuckley had suffered a brain injury after he came off his bike in April last year and it may be that the injury had some bearing on his behaviour that night.

The magistrates told Tuckley this was a ‘serious’ assault which he could have been going to custody for.

However, they sentenced him to a 12-month community order including 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £625 in costs and £200 in compensation to Miss Harding.

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