A man who called a nurse at A&E ‘a stupid bitch’ was told today at Derry Magistrate’s Court that the only reason he was not going straight to prison was that he had a clear record.
Paul McGonagle (38) of 24, Shergrim Glen in Omagh admitted the charge which occurred on October 3 last year.
The court heard that McGonagle was attending A&E in Altnagelvin Hospital and police were called after McGonagle started shouting and abusing the nurse.
The nurse told police she had been treating McGonagle when he started shouting ‘Is that all you are going to do for me you stupid bitch’.
He then continued shouting and being abusive for about five minutes putting her in fear before storming out of the hospital.
When interviewed he said he was sorry for his behaviour but it occurred because he was in severe pain. He said he wanted to apologise to the nurse.
Defence solicitor Mr. Paddy MacDermott said his client was ‘deeply embarrassed’ by the incident and in the pre-sentence report said ‘please accept my apologies, they do a great job without the likes of me.’
The solicitor said his client was willing to make a donation and accepted he had put the nurse in fear and this was ‘unacceptable’.
District Judge Barney McElholm said that there was no excuse for this type of behaviour no matter how much pain someone was in.
He said that carrying on like that and putting a member of the caring profession in fear was unacceptable.
He told McGonagle he was lucky he was not going to prison and sentenced him to four months in prison suspended for two years and ordered him to pay £350 in compensation to the nurse.