Heroic nurse who saved patients from crazed knifeman by confronting him as he rampaged through A&E insists she was only doing her job

  • Yusuf Aka was jailed for five years after rampaging through the A&E waiting room at Leicester Royal Infirmary
  • Caroline Clayton-Barker has been hailed for her courage after the incident 
  • Speaking for the first time about the dramatic incident at Leicester Royal Infirmary in January, Ms Clayton-Barker insists she was only doing her job

It was a terrifying moment as a knife-wielding maniac rampaged through an A&E waiting room.

But as other staff fled or froze, one nurse bravely stood her ground against the thug to make sure patients were safe.

Now Caroline Clayton-Barker has been hailed for her courage after the knifeman, Yusuf Aka, was jailed for five years.

Caroline Clayton-Barker has been hailed for her courage after the incident 


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With all the waiting patients able to flee, the nurse runs for the nearest doorway leaving Aka alone, still gripping the knife

One wheelchair-bound man is left stranded amid the room’s chairs and is spotted by a calm-headed nurse who approaches Aka

Speaking for the first time about the dramatic incident at Leicester Royal Infirmary in January, Ms Clayton-Barker insists she was only doing her job.

‘When you sit at that desk you don’t know what’s going to come in, you get everything,’ she told The Mail on Sunday. ‘You just take it in your stride. It’s only afterwards you think, oh crikey. It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened.’

Chilling CCTV footage of the incident was revealed to the public only after 22-year-old Aka was convicted last week. It shows how he stabbed a man in the back in a random attack and then began tearing apart the A&E waiting room.

Ms Clayton-Barker, 36, was working the night shift in the early hours of January 16. As she assessed patients waiting to be seen by emergency doctors, Aka – dressed in a black hoodie and wearing sunglasses – strode up to two strangers outside the building. He lunged at one of the men, stabbing him in the back with his 8in hunting knife and when they fled he calmly walked into the hospital.

Yusuf Aka was jailed for five years after rampaging through the A&E

The second he stepped through the doors, he threw his knife at a member of staff and then grabbed hold of a computer and launched it across the waiting room.

As Aka wrestled more of the hospital equipment off the front desk, Ms Clayton-Barker tried to ring security but then realised the danger was so great she would have to protect her patients herself.

She shouted ‘Everybody out, go!’ and ushered them to a safer room where security guards were based, then approached Aka as he threw a screen at a distressed man in a wheelchair. ‘He was just on a mission to cause damage to whoever and whatever. He was fixated. It was scary,’ she recalled.

Security guards and police then wrestled Aka to the ground and Miss Clayton-Barker and her colleagues tended to patients before cleaning up the destruction.

Aka pleaded guilty to wounding with intent, affray and possession of a knife at Leicester Crown Court on Friday and was jailed for five years. The court heard he had been on licence for robbery at the time of his rampage and was seeking ‘attention’ for mental health problems. He has a history of taking cannabis and ‘outbursts of violence’ when things did not go his way.

Local MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘I am absolutely proud to have Caroline as a constituent. We would all hope that in a time of an emergency we would react with the courage that she showed.’

Investigating officer Det Con Chris Symmonds said: ‘The actions of members of staff who quickly took control of the situation were commendable, and they should be proud of what they accomplished.’

 

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