21-year-old ‘abused the sanctity of the hospital’

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A man who was abusive to police and hospital staff while receiving treatment for falling out a second story window, has been given a suspended sentence.

John Brendan Meehan was also ordered to pay a total of £600 compensation to the ‘Friends of Altnagelvin’ and the PSNI Benevolent Fund.

The 21-year-old, of Northland Road, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour in Altnagelvin Hospital and assaulting police on August 14th.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to the Accident and Emergency Department in the early hours of the morning because Meehan was causing a disturbance.

The 21-year-old was shouting and screaming at hospital staff and when the police arrived he shouted ‘you are nothing but orange b*******’.

When officers asked him to calm down, he claimed he would kill them if he got the chance.

Meehan had a suspected fractured spine after falling from a second floor window and medics were concerned he would harm himself further.

He became aggressive and began twisting his arms, neck and body in an aggressive manner.

After seeking advice from doctors, police restrained Meehan but he continued to be aggressive and kicked an officer on the shoulder.

He also spat at an officer.

During the struggle, one officer sustained small cuts and had to receive treatment in the hospital.

Meehan continued to shout sectarian abuse at police, calling them ‘orange b*******’ and ‘huns’ and tried to spit at the officers again.

Defence Counsel, Jonathan Longman, told the court his client has an alcohol problem and was so drunk he fell out of a window on the night.

The barrister revealed Meehan had actually sustained a fractured spine and sternum as a result.

Mr. Longman added that it was a mixture of alcohol and pain that caused the 21-year-old to lose control.

Passing sentence, District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant ‘certainly deserves to go straight into custody for this absolutely scandalous behaviour towards police and hospital staff’.

He said Meehan had annoyed hospital staff, upset other patients and ‘abused the sanctity of the hospital’.

The judge suspended a five month sentence for three years and warned the 21-year-old ‘this is your last chance.’

He also ordered the defendant to spend 18 months on probation.