Man spat on Bendigo Hospital nurse in drug-fuelled crime spree, court hears

A MAN who spat in the face of a nurse at Bendigo Hospital after committing a series of crimes while high on ice and synthetic cannabis has been jailed for at least 20 months.

Karl McDowell, 25, was being restrained at the hospital after injuring himself smashing a window when he lashed out, attacking the nurse.

He was sentenced in the Bendigo County Court on Tuesday on charges including unlawful assault, making threats to kill, attempted aggravated burglary and unlawful assault of a registered health practitioner.

On April 20, McDowell was taken to hospital by a woman who was concerned about his threats to self harm after he smoked synthetic cannabis.

He assaulted the woman in the hospital and left the area.

The next day, he returned to the woman’s house and displayed “erratic behaviour”, thrashing around on the ground and attacking the woman again.

He was arrested on multiple warrants and taken to Bendigo Police Station, where he was bailed late at night.

McDowell went to the woman’s house again and became “hostile and angry’, repeatedly kicking and hip-and-shouldering the front door until it broke.

He then smashed two windows, pushing his head and shoulders through the glass.

McDowell used a paver to smash a car in front of the house before police arrived. He complied with police and they took him to the Bendigo Hospital.

He was handcuffed to a stretcher, but spat in the face of a nurse and attacked him. Security were required and the man was taken to the police station again after hospital staff refused to treat him.

The court heard McDowell had been drinking Bourbon and smoking ice, in addition to the synthetic cannabis use. The drug use was believed to have combined with existing mental health issues, leading to psychosis.

Judge Paul Lacava said McDowell needed help to address his drug and alcohol use.

“Whilst you continue to use drugs and alcohol, I form the opinion your prospects for rehabilitation are poor,” he said.

McDowell was jailed for two years and six months, with a non-parole period of 20 months.

He has served 304 days.