Man's violent threats terrify medical staff

MEDICAL staff feared for their safety and that of their patients when a man barged into a South Grafton clinic and threatened them with violence, a court has heard.

Police said that staff at the Clarence Specialist Clinic were so fearful of the man they rang triple-0 for help.

The situation was exacerbated by the fact the medical clinic specialises in treating pregnant women and the elderly.

South Grafton man Brian James Donovan pleaded guilty in Grafton Local Court this week to a charge of using violence or intimidation to unlawfully influence a person.

He was ordered to enter into a 12-month good behaviour bond

The incident began two weeks ago when the 39-year-old followed a woman into the Clarence Specialist Clinic on Through Street about 2.30pm.

The woman approached the reception counter and asked for a doctor, but as staff attempted to help the woman, Donovan tried to persuade her to leave the clinic.

The woman eventually asked staff to call police, causing Donovan to become aggressive towards her and the clinic staff.

While Donovan's back was turned, the woman fled the scene.

Donovan remained at the clinic for a further 10 minutes, verbally abusing and threatening the staff.

He told the women: “Wait until my brother arrives, then you'll know about it.”

He intimidated them further by waving his arms aggressively and knocking things off the counter as he spoke.

Police said the female staff members felt so threatened by the man that they called triple-0 for police assistance.

Donovan left the clinic before police arrived, but handed himself in at the Grafton Police Station an hour later. Police said the two medical staff who bore the brunt of Donovan's abuse were traumatised by the incident.

At the time of the offence, Donovan was on a good behaviour bond for another intimidation charge, as well as for destruction of property.

However, the court decided on Monday to take no action on that breach.



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