"The guy came in the hospital and grabbed the first person he saw"
An NHS worker was stabbed at a hospital in Brighton on July 19, 2020.
Joseph George, aged 56, is a father-of-two and member of the catering staff. He was attacked inside the Royal Sussex County Hospital shortly before 9 am.
Armed police were called to the scene as nearby businesses were ordered to close.
A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder an hour later in a nearby street. He was named as Connolly Mellon.
Mellon was charged and appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court. He was remanded in custody and will appear at Lewes Crown Court on August 17, 2020.
Mr George’s wife Beena, a neonatal nurse at the same hospital, said she was woken up to the news of her husband’s attack.
She previously said: “We don’t know anything, we don’t even know how he is yet.
“He works in the catering department. I have been on a nightshift all night and was woken up to this news.”
A witness said that Mr George’s attacker demanded access to a drugs cabinet.
They said: “The guy came in the hospital and grabbed the first person he saw and demanded they open the drugs cabinet with his security pass.
“Joseph works in catering at the hospital and his card doesn’t open drugs cabinets.
“He tried anyway but it didn’t work – and that’s when the knifeman stabbed him three times before fleeing.
“It’s terrible. Joseph is a very dedicated worker and didn’t deserve it.”
The NHS worker suffered injuries to his arm, lip, throat and torso. He has since been discharged.
In an earlier statement, officers said: “At 8:42 am on Sunday (19 July) police were called to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after a report that a member of staff had sustained a stab wound.
“The hospital site was quickly secured while officers have been working with security staff to confirm that nobody else has been injured, and that staff and patients are safe.
“Following immediate police searches and enquiries a 30-year-old man was arrested in nearby Wilson Avenue at 9:40 am on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.
“This apparently isolated and unexplained incident is not being treated as terrorism at this time and there is currently nothing to suggest that any other person has been involved or that anyone else is at risk.”
In the aftermath of the incident, the hospital was closed to the public, but it has since reopened.
Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade, said: “Shocking news from our Hospital. We don’t yet know why a member of staff was stabbed but I’m thankful to Brighton and Hove police for a swift arrest for attempted murder.
“All affected by this are in my thoughts, especially the victim who I wish a swift recovery.”