A psychiatric patient jailed for attacking healthcare staff has had her sentence cut short by a judge who heard leaving her in prison was “inhumane”.

Sharron McAllister was locked up for 70 days late last month after a judge heard how the 36-year-old meted out violence to staff and one fellow patient at the Hadrian Unit of Carlisle’s Carleton Clinic.

McAllister had been treated there since April after being sectioned under mental health laws.

But on six different dates during June, July and August, McAllister committed 12 common assaults on 11 different people. She slapped, punched, kicked, scratched and even spat at staff members, stamping on one worker’s foot so hard she needed hospital treatment and an x-ray amid fears she had broken a bone.

McAllister also struck a fellow patient in the face. She later admitted 12 assault charges, and was jailed at Carlisle magistrates’ court. However, an appeal against the severity of that sentence was heard at the city’s crown court yesterday.

Recorder Kevin Grice, sitting with two magistrates, learned McAllister had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and a personality disorder. Her lawyer, Mark Shepherd, told the court that since being sentenced, McAllister had been in a cell at Low Newton prison near Durham with “no help” and no medication.

McAllister had been “profoundly ill” and “hallucinogenic” at the time of her offending. But between that time and her court appearance, her medication dosage was quadrupled and she had remained offence-free.

Mr Shepherd suggested a reduction of the jail term to allow her immediate release and a return to Carleton Clinic.

The lawyer said: “I submit that this lady has suffered enough. Leaving her in custody means she is not getting the treatment she needs to get better. I submit that is inhumane. I submit this is a lady who should be in hospital getting treatment.”

After also considering background reports, Recorder Grice and the magistrates cut McAllister’s jail term to 14 days, resulting in her immediate release and clinic return. Recorder Grice, who stressed there was no criticism of the prison, told McAllister: “We hope you will be able to benefit again from the help that you need for the problems that you have.”