PISTOL: University College Hospital where Luke Weeks struck
A MAN who terrified medical staff by firing at them with a starting pistol in a busy hospital has been indefinitely detained in a mental health facility.
Luke Loren Weeks, 35, of no fixed abode, went into the A&E department of University College Hospital in Fitzrovia, north London and fired what medics thought was a pistol three times at the back of a nurse.
He continued to pull the trigger as he pointed what was actually a starting pistol at a doctor who tried to intervene.
Weeks then threw a police officer against a wall before he was eventually overpowered after his attack on the afternoon of March 23 this year.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard Weeks had been under psychiatric treatment for several years, but at times would stop taking his medication.
Defending, George Gross said he had the starter pistol on him because he had fallen out with a friend and feared retribution.
INDEFINITE: Judge Peter Clarke QC said Weeks should not be released until well enough
Judge Peter Clarke QC said: "You entered University College Hospital and after a disturbance with medical staff you took from a box what turned out to be a black starter pistol.
"You discharged three shots, firing at the back of one of the nurses. When you ran out of ammunition you pointed it at a doctor who attempted to intervene and clicked the trigger a number of times.
"You ere eventually overpowered after throwing a police officer against a wall."
The court heard that Weeks had been able to hide the extremity of his condition from the mental health team treating him at the time.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr Alan Reed said those treating him had been taken by surprise by the outburst in the hospital and that Weeks did not always accept when he needed mental health treatment.
SENTENCE: Weeks appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court
Mr Clarke said: "There is a fear the defendant can be manipulative and conceal some of his conditions to the surprise of those treating him.
Weeks was convicted of one count of possessing an imitation firearm and another of battery against a police officer.
The court heard he is on the sex offenders register for life after being convicted in 2004 of a rape during which he assaulted and kept the victim captive.
He was jailed for 12 years.
Mr Clarke said there was a high risk of him committing further offences.
Mr Gross said no one had suffered any serious harm or psychological trauma following the attack and that Weeks had succesffuly lived on benefits in his own flat in the community previously.
He said he had also developed skills as a musician and was looking to work as one.
However, Judge Clarke made an order sectioning indefinitely under the mental health act in the interest of public safety.
He will only be released if considered well enough and that he no longer poses a risk to the public.