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Man who attacked GP with knife at health centre sentenced

A man who attacked and tried to stab a GP at a health centre in Stoke-on-Trent has been detained indefinitely in a secure hospital under the Mental Health Act.

Robert Vaduva, 24, of Waterloo Road, was sentenced under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday (25 September) for possessing a knife blade/sharp pointed article in a public place and assault causing grievous bodily harm.
The court heard that Vaduva had booked an appointment to see his GP at Cobridge Community Health Centre on Friday 18 January.
After complaining of a broken jaw, the GP examined Vaduva before he began raising his voice and pulled out a six inch kitchen knife and attempted to strike the doctor in his chest. He also punched and kicked the GP.
The GP thankfully managed to protect himself but sustained a number of injuries including a superficial knife wound, facial injuries and a torn retina which required emergency surgery. He is likely to be left with permanent damage to his eyesight.
Vaduva pleaded guilty to both charges on 29 July.
Detective Constable David Stubbs, from force CID, said: “This was an unprovoked attack on a GP who was going about his daily business of seeing and treating patients and trying to help them.
“The incident left him understandably shaken and is something that shouldn’t happen to anyone in their workplace. Any attack where a weapon is used or brandished will always be treated extremely seriously by Staffordshire Police.”

The judge also commented on the actions of the receptionist at the medical centre who helped disarm Vaduva after responding to the doctor’s panic button. He awarded her with a High Sherriff’s Award for showing ‘great bravery and great fortitude’.

Dr Lorna Clarson, a GP and Chair of Stoke-on-Trent CCG said: “I welcome this outcome following the shocking events earlier this year. No-one working in our NHS should fear attack, whatever their role.
“Whenever there is violence committed in a primary care setting it is right that prosecutions should take place. The most important thing is that patients and staff should regard GP practices, hospitals and other health facilities as places where they are safe. I am particularly pleased to see the bravery of the practice receptionist recognised.”
Marilyn Marathe, Business Partner at Apsley House Surgery said: “I would like to pay tribute to all our staff, including those that were present when this terrible incident took place and gave assistance.”
“I would also like to thank the police for their actions and the overwhelming support we have received from our patients and the local community.”

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