Judge says A & E is being treated as a ‘war zone’

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A judge has said ‘far too many people treat accident and emergency as a war zone’.

Deputy District Judge Neil Rafferty made the comment as a Belfast man appeared at the local magistrates court.

James John Dynes, of Divis Tower, pleaded guilty to indecent behaviour and assaulting police in Altnagelvin Hospital on February 8.

The court heard that police were called to the accident and emergency department after Dynes urinated over the floor of the waiting area.

When police arrived he became verbally abusive and elbowed one of the officers in the chest.

During interview, Dynes claimed he had been out watching the six nations rugby and fell after leaving the bar.

He was taken to hospital by a friend but had no memory of the incident.

Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott told the court his client apologised for his behaviour.

Suspending a three month sentence for three years, Judge Rafferty said the 57-year-old’s behaviour ‘was disgusting and appalling’.

He said that the ‘message has to go out to the general public if you drink so much and go to the accident emergency department and assault someone you are likely to go to prison’.

The judge told Dynes if he had been violent or abusive to any member of the medical staff ‘I would have no hesitation in sending you to prison’.

He also fined the 57-year-old £200.