A woman who scratched a paramedic's eyeball and abused hospital staff after they saved her from attempted suicide has been given a conditional discharge.

On November 23 ambulance staff visited the home of Francis Guillemin in Georgia Road, New Malden after she was found to have consumed a life-threatening quantity of alcohol.

She verbally and physically abused the staff and she was taken to Kingston Hospital under the Mental Health Act. Mrs Sheppard, prosecuting, said things got worse on Guillemin's arrival at hospital when she assaulted one member of staff by scratching his eyeball causing him severe pain and blurred vision.

She then racially abused a Chinese member of staff, spat at him and told him to go back to his own country.

Hysterical, she then abused other ethnic minority members of staff. Mr Jones, defending, said Guillemin had long-standing mental health problems caused by depression.

Since the incident she has sought psychiatric help at Tolworth Hospital.

The court heard how she deeply regretted what had happened and had visited the hospital to apologise to the staff that had treated her. Guillemin, who sobbed as the facts of the case were read out in court, pleaded guilty to common assault and racially and religiously aggravated harassment.

Sentencing her, Chief Magistrate Mrs Reardon said: "This was an extremely serious offence committed against people from the health service who were trying to help you."

Magistrates gave her a two year conditional discharge after considering the fact she had mental health problems, had sought help for her condition and apologised.