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Misogynist thug who tried to ‘peel layers of skin’ from nurse's face in attack is jailed

Joseph McClurkin (34) punched the female nurse ‘once to the side of the face and threw a cup of hot tea in her face’

Joseph McClurkin

Paul HigginsSunday World

A dangerous, woman-hating, misogynist thug who attacked a nurse, intentionally trying to “peel layers of skin” from her face with hot tea, was handed a five year sentence on Thursday.

In addition to the jail sentence handed to Joseph McClurkin, Judge Neil Rafferty KC also ordered that when the 34-year-old is released, potentially having served the full five years, he will be subject to an extra five years on licence in an effort to protect the public and particularly women.

“This was an attack on a woman,” said the judge, “that’s not to say that women deserve more protection than men but where the attack is motivated by misogyny, women in modern society are entitled to the full protection of the law.”

The judge added that “this was an attack on a nurse in a healthcare setting” and issued a clear warning that anyone who attacks medial professionals “must receive significant custodial sentences.”

“Clearly medical professionals will absolutely and utterly have the full protection of the criminal law,” Judge Rafferty declared.

McClurkin, no fixed abode, had earlier entered guilty pleas to attempting to inflict GBH on the female nurse with intent, common assault of the same victim and assaulting a female police officer, all committed on 16 January this year.

During his sentencing remarks on Thursday, Judge Rafferty recounted how the nurse was walking alone along a corridor in the Royal Victoria Hospital that morning when, without warning, McClurkin “punched her once to the side of the face and threw a cup of hot tea in her face.”

The shocked and terrified victim was left with a bump in her head but “fortunately was not scalded by the tea.”

Meanwhile McClurkin had ran off and was spotted at College Green East a few hours later but when a female officer went to soak to him, “he approached her aggressively shouting ‘what the f*** are you going to do about it!’ as he swung a punch at the constable.

Arrested and restrained, McClurkin admitted after caution “I hit the nurse because I hate women - I wanted the issue brought to court” and during interviews later thay day he confessed to attacking the nurse and their tea over her because he wanted “to burn through several layers of her skin.”

Highlighting the numerous aggravating features including the criminal record, McClurkin’s intention to cause disfigurement in an attack on a woman who is a healthcare professional, with a weapon at her place of work, Judge Rafferty said that with a “lack of remorse” shown, the only point in mitigation was the defendant’s guilty plea.

He revealed that two of McClurkin’s 23 previous offences related to attacks on two other professional women - one a hostel worker who was threatened with a Stanley knife and the other relating to paramilitary threats being made to a female governor at Maghaberry.

Jailing McClurkin, the judge said there are “a number of very, very troubling aspects to this case,” concluding that given the contents of the various reports and the offences themselves, “I am absolutely convinced” the defendant poses a significant risk to the public.

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