A MAN repeatedly stamped on a fellow patient’s head during a brutal attack at the city’s main psychiatric hospital – for smiling at him, a court heard.
Abdul Mumin, 24, launched the assault in the TV room at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital on April 1, leaving his victim with a severe brain injury from which he may never fully recover.
Patient Leo Zheng, 20, was initially put on a life support machine but transferred to the Astley Ainslie Hospital for rehabilitation in August.
Six months on from the ordeal he continues to be fed minced and mushed food, while his mobility and dexterity remain impaired.
The attack was first revealed in the Evening News and the incident led to an NHS investigation, the conclusions of which are yet to be released.
At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, advocate depute Martin Macari said Mr Zheng appeared “to have been simply in the wrong place at the wrong time”, but the impact had been enormous.
A consultant said he would require long-term supervision and that his capacity to live independently would depend on his psychological illness.
Mr Zheng was rushed unconscious to hospital with extensive bruising and swelling to his face and forehead.
Mumin had revealed that when he first went to the Royal Edinburgh there was “a Chinese guy” sitting next to him who looked and smiled in a way he did not like.
Mumin was charged with attempting to murder Mr Zheng following the attack on April 1, but denied the offence lodging a special defence of insanity.
At trial both the Crown and defence urged jurors to find him not guilty on the grounds of insanity. The jury unanimously returned the verdict.
The judge, Lord Woolman, ordered that Mumin be detained at Carstairs under an interim compulsion order ahead of further proceedings.
The court heard that Mr Zheng had moved to Edinburgh last year and found work at a takeaway, but he later began to show signs of mental health problems.
After difficulties with his medication he was admitted to the Royal Edinburgh in March this year and had been diagnosed as schizophrenic.
On the night of the attack staff at the Meadows ward rushed to the TV room after a cry of “nurse, nurse”.
They found Mr Zheng lying on the floor with Mumin repeatedly kicking and stamping on his head.
When seen by a psychiatrist in the wake of the incident, Mumin said: “Allahu Akhbar” – God is greatest – but at the high security hospital at Carstairs he later talked about the devil trying to deter him from praying.
Melanie Hornett, nurse director at NHS Lothian, said: “We understand that court proceedings have still to be fully concluded and it would not be appropriate for us to comment at this stage.”