Solicitor charged with battery following row at hospital


A solicitor who was visiting his frail elderly mother in hospital has been charged with battery and a public order offence after a row with staff, it emerged today.

Semi-retired John Blanning, 50, became embroiled in a row over the treatment of his 89-year-old mother Joan at the Royal United Hospital in Bath in June.

He became upset after doctors told him he could not see his mother, who has symptoms of advanced dementia and was being treated for a chest infection and dehydration.

Father-of-one Mr Blanning was originally charged with a public order offence and was offered an #80 on the spot fine, which he refused to pay.

Yesterday he was handed an additional charge of battery and will face a two-day trial at Bath Magistrates Court in November.

Mr Blanning, from Bodmin, Cornwall, said: ”The type of push that I’m talking about – whoever’s fault it was – is like that which happens when jostled in a crowd or if you bump into someone on the way into a crowded Marks and Spencer’s.

”I find this to be amazing in an age of austerity, given that this matter will cost the public purse thousands of pounds, for a matter for which I was originally offered an #80 fixed penalty, but which I refused for the simple reason that I had not committed any offence.

”Given the hassle and inconvenience that this matter has caused me, I can understand why people just accept and pay a fixed penalty whether they are guilty or not.

”Where is the sense of justice in today’s judicial system?”

He has also been charged with two offences under the Bail Act after illness prevented him attending a case management hearing at the court earlier this month.


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