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

Sooke stands up against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

This year’s theme, “Lift Each Other Up” reflects the origins of Pink Shirt Day

Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Musical starts Friday in Dave Dunnet Theatre

Life complicated when water not secure

Water issues have real-life impacts in Sooke Region

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Work begins on Otter Point Road project in Sooke

The project now has a fall completion date following a long delay

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day in Victoria

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Vancouver Island RCMP officer assaulted during traffic stop

On Feb. 21, a member of the Comox Valley RCMP was assaulted… Continue reading

Most Read