45-year-old woman spat at doctor and made threats to family

Derry Magistrate's Court sitting in Omagh
Derry Magistrate's Court sitting in Omagh

A woman who spat at a doctor in Altnagelvin Hospital, hitting him on the shoulder, has received a suspended sentence.

Elizabeth Flanagan, of Abercorn Road, pleaded guilty to a series of offences committed between September and November last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Omagh, heard that during one of the incidents the 35-year-old threatened to kill a woman and her children.

Flanagan forced her way into a house and went into the bathroom where the injured party was having a shower.

She shouted ‘I am going to kill you and I hope your kids are in the house. I am going to kill them.’

The woman got out of the shower and grappled with Flanagan who then chased the woman’s 12-year-old daughter out of the house.

The court heard the family car was also damaged in the incident and Flanagan made a further threat against the woman’s 19-month-old grandchild.

During police interview, the defendant claimed she had been drinking and thought she had gone to her late aunt’s house.

In a separate incident, Flanagan sat in the middle or Abercorn Road shouting abuse and swearing.

Police were called and a member of the public reported that the defendant had kicked his car, causing over £250 of damage.

The 35-year-old was arrested and placed into a police vehicle where she urinated.

In November, Flanagan was arrested for an incident in the outpatients department of Altnagelvin Hospital.

She approached a doctor and asked when she would be seen.

The doctor responded that she would be assessed in due course and Flanagan began shouting abuse at the doctor.

She refused to calm down and hospital security was called to the scene.

As the doctor approached another patient, Flanagan shouted at him again and spat at him, hitting him on the shoulder.

Defence counsel Nicki Rountree said her client had a clear record until these offences.

She said they had occurred as a result of a ‘decline in her mental health’ and Flanagan’s consumption of prescription drugs and alcohol.

The barrister said this resulted in ‘memory loss and black outs’ and Flanagan had no clear recollection of the events.

Ms Rountree said Flanagan wished to apologise to the family she made threats to and realises it would have been a very frightening incident for them.

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay suspended a six month sentence for 18 months.

He also ordered her to pay £100 compensation to the assault victims and £264 compensation to the owner of the car which was damaged.