Man is arrested after staff member was stabbed inside Royal Sussex hospital

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An NHS hospital caterer who was stabbed on a hospital ward in Brighton has been pictured.

Joseph George, 56, was knifed on the 11th floor gynaecology ward of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton at around 8.40am. 

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Witnesses said father-of-two Mr George, a member of the hospital’s catering team, was the first person grabbed by the crazed knifeman.

The man commanded Mr George to open up a cabinet containing medicines using his staff pass, onlookers said. 

But Mr George’s pass is not authorised to open the cabinet and, when it didn’t work, he was knifed three times before the assailant ran away.

Mr George’s distraught wife, neonatal nurse Beena worked a night shift at the same hospital before the horrific attack and awoke to hear the horrific news about her husband’s attack.

An NHS hospital caterer who was stabbed on a hospital ward in Brighton has been named as Joseph George, 56 (pictured with his wife Beena)

Up to 30 armed police were seen at about 9am as they hunted the alleged knifeman.

A suspect was arrested nearby an hour later as the site and neighbouring businesses were put into lockdown.

Sussex police said the injuries suffered by the staff member were not life-threatening and he is being treated in the Royal Sussex.

The attacker reportedly knifed a male caterer on the 11th floor of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton at around 8.40am

The attacker reportedly knifed a male caterer on the 11th floor of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton at around 8.40am

Witnesses said armed police swooped on the scene at around 9am as they hunted the alleged knifeman

Witnesses said armed police swooped on the scene at around 9am as they hunted the alleged knifeman

NHS workers wearing masks stand outside the hospital after the horrific incident on Sunday morning

NHS workers wearing masks stand outside the hospital after the horrific incident on Sunday morning 

Officers stand guard outside the hospital as it and neighbouring buildings were locked down during the manhunt

Officers stand guard outside the hospital as it and neighbouring buildings were locked down during the manhunt 

Mrs George told The Sun: ‘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.’ 

Bernard Bannister, 72, said he heard a commotion as police nicked the suspect in his front garden on Wilson Avenue.

He said he did not get a look at the alleged knifeman but was amazed by the massive police response.

He told MailOnline: ‘I noticed the lights outside. When I looked out, as far as the eye could see, there was police vehicles with blue flashing lights.

‘I could see nothing other than police vehicles. My grand daughter, who is visiting us, said she counted at least 30 police officers.

‘They were all armed with the guns either in their hands or slung around them. Every officer was carrying a weapon. I did not see the person they apprehended.

‘I stayed inside. His bag and other stuff are all still there. Some more armed police wanted to have a look round our back garden before they went.’

It is believed the suspect dropped a khaki rucksack used to carry a large knife. A green jacket was also still at the scene as forensic teams arrived to begin their probe.

Sussex Police erect a tent over a bag and other items where they arrested a 30-year-old man today

Sussex Police erect a tent over a bag and other items where they arrested a 30-year-old man today

A bag at the scene in Wilson Avenue, Brighton, where a man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and is currently in custody for interview and further inquiries

A bag at the scene in Wilson Avenue, Brighton, where a man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and is currently in custody for interview and further inquiries

Police said the injuries suffered by the staff member - aged in his 50s - are not 'life-threatening'

Police said the injuries suffered by the staff member – aged in his 50s – are not ‘life-threatening’

A PCSO and staff at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton stand together after the incident today

A PCSO and staff at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton stand together after the incident today

Sussex Police said in a statement: ‘At 8.42am 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 9.40am 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.’

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals said: ‘An incident took place at the Royal Sussex County Hospital this morning in which one member of staff was injured.

‘The staff member is in a safe and stable state, and is being cared for in the hospital.

‘The police and hospital security staff have secured the site and currently the public are not being allowed into the hospital whilst a search of the premises is carried out.

‘The police have arrested one person in relation to the incident. Further updates will follow.’

Police & Crime Commissioner for Sussex Katy Bourne tweeted: ‘Dreadful event and thoughts with the injured NHS staff member’s family and those police officers & health colleagues at the scene…’

Social media user Pedro Santos posted: ‘Just had a couple fully armed police officers come into the room to check if anyone was here, must be doing a search for safety.’

Dan Dawson said online: ‘Disgusting to think they’ve been working so hard fighting the virus only to be attacked. Thoughts with the and their family.’

Lewes District Lib Dem Councillor Sean Maclead said: ‘My wife works at the Sussex County hospital. They have been absolute hero’s all the staff through this crisis.

‘For someone to go into the hospital and stab a member of staff is frightening. Thoughts and Prayers are with the victim.’

MP for Hove Peter Kyle put: ‘Shocking news from our Hospital. We don’t yet know why a member of staff was stabbed but I’m thankful to @BtonHovePolice for a swift arrest for attempted murder.

‘All affected by this are in my thoughts, especially the victim who I wish a swift recovery.’

MP for Brighton Kemptown Lloyd Russell-Moyle added: ‘My thoughts are with the worker and family. Last year Labour passed through a backbench bill a law to ensure that people who assault NHS workers got double time.

‘This will be no relief to the person who was stabbed, but I hope it will ensure justice can be delivered when the person is Brighton to book.’



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