Malaria Nurse Detained For Attack

A staff nurse who sparked an international search over fears that he had contracted malaria during a drugs trial has been detained under the Mental Health Act for sexually assaulting a waitress in Southampton.

Matthew Lloyd, 36, sparked the appeal in October 2010 when he failed to keep an appointment in Oxford for the trial. There were fears he would die unless he received medical care.

Last September, a jury at Southampton Crown Court took just 50 minutes to find him guilty of the assault on the woman, then aged 20, on August 21 2010 as she walked home in Southampton.

He was also found guilty of common assault on the same woman.

At the time of his disappearance, Lloyd had been arrested over the incident but not charged. He was found in Holland, came back to the UK and he did not contract the disease.

Southampton Crown Court heard that Lloyd was suffering from schizophrenia and would require long-term care.

Judge Susan Evans QC sentenced Lloyd to a hospital order and also an unlimited restriction order over concerns that he was a danger to the public.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

''Your victim was clearly vulnerable... She thought she was going to be raped by you,'' the judge told Lloyd.

''You are in a state of complete denial about what you have done and that is of concern to this court.

''Because of the nature of the offence and the risk of you committing further offences when set at large, I take the view that it's necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm to make a restriction order.''

During the three-day trial, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said a smiling stranger grabbed her bottom hard as she walked in Southampton city centre.

The woman told the jury she pressed her fingers into his windpipe to try to fight him off as he continued to assault her sexually.

She said the only thing he said was: ''How are you doing?''

Later she ran into Lloyd, who tried to attack her again but she fended him off and got home.

''Both times he was smiling,'' she said. ''He enjoyed me being in fear.''

The court heard she called the police the same day and picked Lloyd out of identification photographs but Lloyd, who is from Southampton, denied to police he was the attacker.

Lloyd was working at Southampton General Hospital in the infectious disease ward at the time of the attack.