Suspended sentence for assaulting doctor

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A man who assaulted a doctor in Altnagelvin Hospital has received a suspended sentence.

Ciaran Griffiths, of Glenowen Park, pleaded guilty to common assault and disorderly behaviour on April 1st.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the doctor was attempted to treat the 28-year-old in the accident and emergency department when he lashed out.

Griffiths hit the doctor in the stomach and threw himself on the floor.

He attempted to strike the doctor a second time and told him to ‘fuck off.’

Griffiths also kicked the doctor and stated he was going to ‘kick the doctors head in’.

The doctor did not sustain any injuries as a result of the assault.

During police interview, Griffiths claimed he could not remember the incident but was sorry.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott told the court Griffiths wished to apologise to the doctor and hospital staff for his ‘entirely reprehensible behaviour.’

He added that within four days of the incident Griffiths entered a residential treatment programme to address his issues with alcohol.

Mr MacDermott said his client has not consumed alcohol since and has started full time employment.

Suspending a four month sentence for two years, District Judge Barney McElholm said this would normally attract an immediate custodial sentence.

However, he said the court ‘should endeavour to help those who help themselves’.

The judge also ordered Griffiths to spend 12 months on probation and to pay £250 to the Friends of Altnagelvin.