Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

The man charged with attacking a nurse at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) in September has pleaded guilty to one of the three charges he faced.

Neale Rex Heath, 62, pleaded guilty on Monday in Abbotsford provincial court to assault causing bodily harm.

Two counts of assault with a weapon are expected to be stayed at sentencing.

Heath was initially charged with aggravated assault but that was later downgraded.

The BC Nurses Union (BCNU) released details about the attack on Sept. 26, saying that two days earlier a patient had struck a nurse with a dumbbell in a medical unit at ARH.

RELATED: ‘This should never have happened:’ BCNU president says attack on nurse was preventable

RELATED: Daughter of patient charged in Abbotsford nurse attack says she warned hospital of danger

The BCNU said the nurse sustained a broken jaw, fractured cheek bones, damaged teeth and other serious injuries.

The union also said at the time that the perpetrator of the attack had been assessed and was found to have “violent tendencies.”

After Heath was charged, his daughter said that, before the assault, she had repeatedly warned health workers about the danger posed by her mentally ill father.

She said that her dad had attacked his wife the previous week while he was in a state of psychosis and having delusions.

According to provincial court records, Heath was charged on Jan. 10 of this year with an assault in Hope on Sept. 18, 2019 – six days before the hospital attack.

Heath is next due to appear in court for the hospital assault on Feb. 20, when a psychiatric report is scheduled to be presented.

The judge could decide to proceed with sentencing that day or reserve judgment for a later date.

– with files from Tyler Olsen, Abbotsford News

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health says York Road only location available for Wellness and Recovery Centre

Health Authority claims no other suitable site available

Survey to gauge interest in connecting Cowichan to Nanaimo by bus

People can fill out the survey until Oct. 16.

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Big Stick light up red to signal COVID devastation

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read