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Thur 8 April 04

Life sentence for nurse attacker sends out powerful message

UNISON Scotland welcomes the life sentenced imposed on William Kerr at the Glasgow High Court this morning and supports the strong message that this sentence sends out it in relation to assaults on public service workers.

Ms Dunnery has been exceptionally brave in 'going public' on her horrific experience and she has used it to back the UNISON campaign aimed at improving security for all public service workers.

UNISON Scotland hopes that the Scottish Executive will now take on board the outcome of this morning's case and as a result consider broadening the remit of their proposed legislation for the 'Protection of Emergency Workers' to include all public sector workers.

Matt Smith, UNISON Scottish secretary said: "We welcome the proposed legislation aimed at protecting emergency workers however when Ms Dunnery was attacked she was working in a medical ward in an non-emergency role and would not have been covered by the new legislation.

"This case proves that the risk faced by public service workers in both emergency and non-emergency situations are fundamentally the same and we believe that any attempt to make a distinction between assaulting a public service worker in an emergency situation and assaulting one in a non emergency situation to be illusory.

"We therefore call on the Executive to take on board the issues raised by this case and to widen the remit of their legislation to include all public service workers."


For Further Information Please Contact: Ahrlene Ferguson 0141 332 2819 Dave Watson 0845 355 0845(o) 07787 558410(m)




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