Am I alone in feeling a little uncomfortable at your reporting of the case of Sarah Mifsud, involved in an attack on accident and emergency staff ('In the wars', news focus, 20 July)? While in no way wishing to detract from the problem of disruptive patients, I gather Ms Mifsud had been refused admission to a psychiatric hospital before arriving at A&E, where she 'went berserk'.

A graphic description of her actions makes no allowance for the possibility that she may have been experiencing mental illness.

Furthermore, there is an irony to the outcome of the court case - that she should attend a psychiatric unit for 12 weeks. Perhaps the whole incident could have been avoided by a more sensitive response to the initial plea for admission.

Professor Alison Petch Director Nuffield Centre for Community Care Studies Glasgow