Man on 'ice' in hospital attack

A SECURITY officer at the Hervey Bay Hospital says he suffered a heart attack after getting punched four times by a patient who had been using the drug 'ice'.

Matthew James Coleman, 35, admitted it was a recreational drug binge gone wrong that led him to attack staff at the hospital on February 20.

He had been taking methyl-amphetamine, commonly known as ice, for two days before he went into a "drug-induced psychotic state".

This led his concerned girlfriend to call an ambulance.

Details of Coleman's behaviour once he arrived at the hospital were revealed in the Hervey Bay District Court, where he was convicted of seriously assaulting the security officer.

He was described as "extremely volatile, threatening, abusive and unpredictable". He told the hospital staff he was seeing demons and that he was an elite athlete before his arms began flailing.

Three staff members, including the 47-year-old security guard, restrained him, holding him on the ground for about four minutes.

As Coleman was kicking and struggling, one of his arms became free and he punched the security officer four times in the upper back.

This resulted in "acute back pain and chest pain" and half an hour later the victim was admitted to hospital.

Crown prosecutor Ken Spinaze said while the 47-year-old had suffered a heart attack, it was difficult to say whether it was a direct result of being assaulted.

He did, however, acknowledge that before the attack the victim was fit and healthy.

But he now suffered a "number of cardiac issues".

Coleman, who has since moved to Rockhampton, was said to have become a drug addict at 14.

He was now taking steps to get clean and had been offered secure employment.

Coleman was convicted of the assault and sentenced to six months jail but released on immediate parole.

His family, including a tearful mother, embraced him after he was allowed to leave the court-room.



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