A WOMAN called a nurse who had tried to help her a “f****** Catholic” as she carried out a violent attack on the healthcare worker.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard of Ashleigh Cottrell’s “despicable” behaviour in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on March 12 last year.

Depute fiscal Lauren Ram Sangray told the court of the ­actions of the 21-year-old.

She said: “It was around 11pm and the witness was working as a nurse in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

“The accused had been admitted to A&E but had to be moved to the resus area due to the level of disturbance she was causing.

“She was told she would have to calm down or security would be called.”

Cottrell, from the Wyndford, lunged towards the nurse, repeatedly punching her in the face and head.

The nurse put her hands up for protection to cover her face but Cottrell pulled back her finger and stabbed it with her nail.

She said: “You f****** Catholic.”

The nurse’s skin was broken and she had to take a course of antibiotics to protect against infection.

Defence lawyer: “I would not seek to rehearse the points in the [criminal justice social work] report.

“She has had a troubled background.”

Cottrell is currently already on a compulsory supervision order.

Sheriff Allan McKay said: “On a narrow margin, and it is as narrow a margin as I can think of, [you are not going to jail].

“This was despicable.

“It was horrendous, and hopefully in the sober light of day you understand how awful it is for someone to go to work and be assaulted by someone in your condition. You have got to understand you are very close – chapping on the door – of a custodial sentence and a fairly lengthy custodial sentence.”

Cottrell was put on a compulsory supervision order with a conduct requirement that she attend counselling.

She was ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and appear before the court again in three months for an early ­review.