Jailed for abusing A&E nursing staff

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A man who used “outrageous” and “unforgivable” language to a nurse at Altnagelvin Hospital has been jailed for four months.

Sean Jarvis, whose address was given on court papers as Primrose Street, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour on February 12, last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to the accident and emergency department of the hospital because the 41-year-old had been abusive to nursing staff.

The sister of the ward was “visibly shaken” as a result of very personal abusive comments Jarvis made to her and “it appeared she had been crying”.

When police spoke to him he was verbally abusive and claimed he “didn’t recognise the PSNI/RUC”.

The court heard that hospital staff continued to treat the 41-year-old despite his behaviour.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said the incident happened after his client’s relationship broke down and he had consumed a large quantity of alcohol.

He said that Jarvis was “offensive to people who were trying to help him” when he was “not in a great place”.

Mr Quigley told the court the 41-year-old was “ashamed of his actions and accepted the distress caused to those who do a very difficult and sometimes thankless job”.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he would be more impressed if Jarvis had “made some effort to apologise to the staff of the hospital. He has shown no real remorse in my view”.

He added that the “language used was quite simply unforgivable. It is reflective not just of his aggression but of a wider problem in society as regards to attitudes to women”.

The judge said Jarvis’s behaviour was “outrageous” in a “place of sanctuary” and that “there is only one sentence in a case like this - an immediate custodial one”.

Jailing the 41-year-old for four months, District Judge McElholm ordered him to pay £500 compensation to the nurse.