A NURSE convicted of attacking a colleage has won an appeal against the ruling.
Heather Slater, 40, was found guilty of assaulting student nurse Andrea Williams on a mental health ward at Blackburn Hospital in October last year.
Ms Slater, of Commercial Street, Rishton, took her case to appeal at Burnley Crown Court and was successful after her barrister submitted that there was no case to answer.
The mother-of-two is now looking forward to returning to work.
A family friend said after the case: "Heather has been very distraught over the last 18 months. She has been stuck at home awaiting her fate thinking ‘what have I done to deserve this?’ At the end of the day this is an argument between two women at work – the sort of thing you might have with someone and it be over in half an hour which has just escalated.
"Her only disappointment was that she was not able to put forward her defence case and that she was not able to refute these accusations against her. She spent 18 months looking at four walls and watching over two children.
"She has been on full pay, but so what? It has got her down and she has been very depressed. She has had a 23 year unblemished record and all her friends who turned up were delighted by the result."
The prosecution had claimed healthcare assistant Ms Slater jabbed Miss Williams in the chest before shouting threats at her. The hearing heard how Miss Williams claimed to have been attacked because she was beautiful.
Philip Holden, for Slater, asked her: "Didn’t you tell management you were targeted because you thought you were beautiful? " Miss Williams replied: "I don’t think I am beautiful. She thought she was better looking than me and I said it’s not a beauty contest. I am a serious nurse involved in serious psychiatric care."
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said it took any allegation of physical violence or verbal aggression very seriously.
She added: "We are therefore pleased that the findings of our thorough internal investigation carried out last year are consistent with the recent appeal verdict.
"We recognise that this has been a very difficult time for the member of staff concerned and we are working with her to support her return to work."