Pregnant nurse attacker dies in jail 254


By Michael MacLeod

A MAN jailed for attacking a pregnant nurse has died in prison.

John Ross, 46, was less than two weeks into a three-month sentence for ramming a table into the heavily pregnant nurse’s stomach.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told he attacked the woman because he was “having a bad day” after a taxi was late picking him up.

A fatal accident inquiry is being carried out, but insiders at Saughton prison in Edinburgh said Ross’ death was due to natural causes.

Sheriff Nigel Morrison said the July attack on the expecting nurse was “disgraceful behaviour.”

Prosecutors said John Ross would have been able to see the Afro-Caribbean staff nurse was almost six months pregnant at the time.

But he screamed a volley of racist abuse at the health worker, who was helping him to have kidney dialysis.

Fiscal depute Graham Fraser told the court last month how staff nurse Eunice Kudom, 28, had telephoned Ross after he failed to turn up for an appointment at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

She was due to help Ross with kidney dialysis, which he needs three times every week.

But when he did not appear for his 9am appointment in July this year, she became worried and called him.

Ross’s taxi had been late to pick him up and this, he said, put him in a bad mood.

He eventually made it to the hospital and was taken into a private room to begin his dialysis.

But after a short while, Ross accused Miss Kudom of interrupting him and, despite an apology from the nurse, launched his attack.

Mr Fraser said: “She apologised but he became aggressive and said she was nothing but a useless girl. He pushed a table, which struck her on the stomach.”

Mr Fraser added that, because Miss Kudom was so heavily pregnant, it would have been obvious to her attacker that she was expecting a child.

To add insult to injury, as the terrified nurse, who was 24 weeks into her pregnancy, fled the room, he repeatedly screamed “black b****” at her.

Luckily, Miss Kudom had not suffered any injuries or complications to her pregnancy as a result of the attack.

His lawyer, Caroline Kwek, said that her client had struggled since his mother, who was his main carer, was taken in to hospital.

She said he was deeply ashamed of his actions that day, which he attributed to having a bad day – including his taxi being late to take him to his hospital appointment.

Miss Kwek added that a serious head injury 10 years ago had caused Ross to act differently at times.

But Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC concluded: “This is disgraceful behaviour.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “Police and next of kin have now been informed and a Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held in due course.”