Jailed for abusing staff in Altnagelvin Hospital

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A man who verbally abused staff in Altnagelvin Hospital has been jailed for three months.

Michael Joseph Gerald Stokes, of Collon Lane, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour on January 2.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that police were called to the accident and emergency department because the 32-year-old was abusing staff and members of the public. However, Stokes had left before police arrived.

A short time later police received a further report that Stokes was refusing to pay for goods at the hospital shop and was being abusive to staff there. He was ‘extremely intoxicated’ and became abusive and aggressive when police approached him.

A defence solicitor told the court Stokes behaviour was fueled by alcohol and was ‘obnoxious and unacceptable’.District Judge Barney McElholm said he may have considered another sentence if the 32-year-old had brought some compensation money to court to ‘atone for his behaviour’.

He added “anyone in hospital is going through a difficult time or are there visiting someone who is ill. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated by the community”.