Hospital disturbance

A man who admitted causing an ‘intolerable disturbance’ in Altnagelvin Hospital has been ordered to complete 150 hours community service.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:21 pm
Altnagelvin Hospital.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that 54-year-old Brian Toal was also ‘anxious’ to pay compensation to the Friends of Altnagelvin.

District Judge Paul Copeland did not impose a compensation order but said there is an expectation the defendant will donate £200 to the charity.

Toal, of Lyndhurst Road, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour in the hospital on September 14, last year.

He also admitted assaulting and resisting police during the incident, which was described in court as ‘despicable’.

The court was told police were called to the hospital after staff reported a drunk male who was acting aggressively.

When officers arrived they found Toal lying on the floor of the waiting area.

He refused to get up and refused to leave the hospital.

The court heard the 54-year-old was abusive to police telling them to ‘f*** away off’ a number of times.

Officers helped the defendant to his feet and escorted him to the front door of the hospital. However, he continued to be abusive and refused to leave despite being given several opportunities to do so.

Toal told the police to ‘f*** away off’ several more times before he was arrested.

He responded by telling police, ‘I am sorry for what I am about to do’ and then pushed the officer to the chest.

The 54-year-old was further arrested for assaulting police.

It was confirmed by the prosecution that Toal was not abusive to hospital staff during the incident.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said it is accepted disorderly behaviour in the hospital ‘will bot be tolerated by this court’.

He said Toal is ‘disgusted and ashamed’ of his behaviour and is ‘anxious’ to pay compensation.

The solicitor added that while his client has a ‘significant record’ it is a number of years since he committed any public order offence.

Imposing the community service order, Judge Copeland said: “Once again the court is presented with the despicable situation of drunken disorderly conduct causing inconvenience to staff and members of the public in hospital.”

He said Toal’s behaviour was “shocking and distressing for members of the public who had to witness this man, much the worse for wear, cause this totally intolerable disturbance.”