Accused of attempted sexual assault on nurse

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A man has appeared in court charged with attempted sexual assault on a nurse in Altnagelvin Hospital.

An arrest warrant had to be issued for 28-year-old Patrick Joseph Harkin a fortnight ago after he failed to appear in court.

However, Harkin was arrested yesterday and charged with a further offence of indecent behaviour.

Harkin, whose address was given on court papers as Strand Road, is charged with attempted sexual assault and disorderly behaviour on August 12.

He is further charged with the theft of a bottle of whiskey from Sainsburys on August 28 and indecent behaviour on October 5.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations the defendant attempted to sexually assault a nurse while he was receiving treatment in Altnagelvin Hospital.

He allegedly slapped her on the bottom and the nurse was ‘scared’ as a result of the incident.

Harkin was arrested and he allegedly replied ‘I grabbed her by the a***. It was only for a laugh’.

The court also heard that the 28-year-old stole a bottle of whiskey from Sainsburys, which was recovered and fit for re-sale.

He told police he needed ‘something to tide him over’ because he doctor wouldn’t give him his medication.

Bail was opposed for fear of further offences.

An investigating officer also told the court police have fears Harkin will not appear in court.

A defence solicitor said his client did not attend court because he was in Gransha.

He added that Harkin has a history of mental illness and intends to return to the hospital for treatment if granted bail.

District Judge Barney McElholm released the defendant on bail and warned him if he breached the conditions he would be remanded in custody.

Harkin was released on his own bail of £250 and banned from being drunk in public.

He is also banned from entering the grounds of Altnagelvin Hospital unless he is brought there by medical staff or police for treatment.

The 28-year-old will appear in court again on November 5.