RIOT police were called to Inverclyde Royal when a man tried to get into the children’s ward brandishing a knife.

Officers with shields were called in an attempt to stop Peter Collins’ evening rampage at Inverclyde Royal.

By the time they arrived the completely out of control 45-year-old had got hold of a syringe and a cannula with a needle attached to it before menacingly approaching them while making stabbing motions.

One policeman used his shield to block Collins, forcing him to drop the weapons.

Staff then had to sedate him to bring the episode to an end. Despite the serious nature of the offence, Collins walked free from court after a sheriff said there was ‘nothing to be gained by imposing a punishment’.

The court heard that Collins had an historical brain injury and that he suffered from epilepsy. He was in the hospital for three days’ observation after being found injured at Gourock Railway Station in February last year.

Depute fiscal Pamela Brady said: “A member of staff saw the accused leaving a ward and go to an adjacent children’s ward.

“He tried to enter the ward and a member of staff followed him.

“He was seen to be in possession of a knife, 15 to 16 inches long, which he had taken from a nearby kitchen.

“He was then seen to go to a nearby fire exit there and try and prise a door open with the knife.” After listening to the circumstances, Sheriff Derek Hamilton adjourned briefly to look at background reports before returning to the bench for sentencing.

He said: “I have some difficulty knowing what to do here. I’m left with just admonishing you — that is an unusual sentence, but these are unusual circumstances.

“There’s no good purpose in deferring sentence, you are not suitable for supervision and there’s nothing to be gained by imposing a punishment.”