Dunedin doctor shaken by violent racist threats

A man's racist threats terrified a Dunedin doctor and put the lives of hospital patients at risk, a court has heard.

Ashton Johnmayne Daley, 32, was jailed for nine months when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday but, because of the time he has already spent behind bars, he is expected to be released immediately.

When he turned up at Dunedin Hospital on November 18, his behaviour was so aggressive that security guards were kept stationed with him while he slept.

The next morning, Daley’s agitation remained.

When a senior doctor came to assess him, he announced his arrival with a friendly "morena".

Daley responded "morning bro", before the vicious tirade began.

"Don’t use that mud language with me," he said.

"I’m going to f...... kill you, c....."

Daley lunged with his fists clenched, prompting the doctor to flee and security to intervene.

"I’ll kill you n.....," the defendant said.

Daley’s conduct was so hostile that security officers did not try to apprehend him as he left the hospital, leaving him for police who found him nearby.

In a statement, the doctor said getting abuse from patients was part of his job, which Judge Michael Turner called "a sad indictment on society".

"The interaction with this guy was at the very top of the harm I receive in my job," the victim said.

"I was shaken up enough after being threatened that I had to sit down for a good while trying to calm myself."

Judge Turner said the doctor was running the emergency department that day, so Daley’s outburst put the lives of other patients at risk.

The victim said he would always have the man’s anger in the back of his mind, and he remained anxious of another confrontation.

The judge noted Daley’s history of violence, threatening behaviour and non-compliance with court orders.

"I’m absolutely disgusted in myself. It won’t happen again," the defendant said.

"At the time I wasn’t mentally there in the head. I’m now on medication. It’s slowly working for the better."

The court heard Daley, who was convicted of threatening to kill, was planning to live in Masterton with family once he was out of jail.