Jail for the thug who battered hospital patients with fire extinguisher - and praise for the hero pensioner who tackled him
A HEROIC pensioner wrestled a thug to a hospital ward floor after he launched a frenzied attack on fellow patients with a fire extinguisher.
John McAleer, now aged 80, had undergone a hernia operation only two days before he tackled Anthony Dyer as he went on the rampage in a surgical ward at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
Now Dyer, aged 53, of Crossdale Road, Bolton, has been jailed for 32 months after he left 81-year-old Mohammed Aslam with a broken arm and attacked two other people on May 26.
Mr McAleer, from Halliwell, said he was returning from the toilets when Dyer turned the fire extinguisher on him.
He said he had to defend himself, otherwise Dyer would have inflicted injuries on him similar to those suffered by Mr Aslam.
Dyer, who pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm, assault and affray, was pinned to the floor by Mr McAleer after a struggle and held there for about five minutes until security arrived to help.
Mr McAleer said: “I just heard a crash when I was walking out of the toilet.
“Then I walked back into the ward and was hit straight away by the fire extinguisher, fortunately only on the knuckle.
“I had to defend myself, otherwise he would have attacked me, like he did to the 81-year-old chap whose arm was broken.
“I thought to myself, 'I’m not letting this man get the better of me'.
“I was shook-up afterwards, of course, because I had not even spoken to the guy while he was there and he really seemed like he wanted to attack me.
“He is not a very good person and I don’t think the judge went far enough really.
“If I had been the judge he would have got more.”
Dyer also smashed up hospital equipment during the rampage.
Det Con Tammy Woodhouse, who led the police investigation, said: “John is the man who detained this guy and I’ve no doubt he would have gone into other wards and bays and attacked other patients.
“John showed no regard for his own safety and managed to pin him down for a good five minutes until security arrived.
“Whenever I have met him he has always played his intervention down but it was absolutely vital.
“He showed tremendous courage and put his safety aside to tackle this person.
“He had no idea how long security would be but acted regardless of that.”
Det Con Woodhouse added that she asked her chief superintendant to write to him following his heroic intervention, and there was a possibility that he might receive a police award.
Last night, the Royal Bolton Hospital refused to comment on the sentencing.
All of the victims, and the defendant, were patients in the hospital at the time of the attack.
Members of the public raised concerns on social media outlets that nursing staff had been cowardly and not done enough to challenge Dyer.
But the hospital said staff working on E3 — the ward where the attacks took place — were left shocked by the incident.
It is understood that an internal investigation into the matter is still being conducted by the hospital.
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