Woman jailed for hospital disorderly

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

A judge has said there should be ‘a place of containment’ where he can send addicts to get counselling and treatment.

District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as 22-year-old Stacey Magee appeared at the local magistrates court.

Magee, of Strand Foyer, pleaded guilty to being disorderly in the hospital on September 25.

She also admitted criminal damage and disorderly behaviour in relation to an incident in Strand Foyer on September 23.

The court heard that police were called to the Strand Foyer because the 22-year-old had damaged three fire alarms in the property.

When she was arrested, Magee became disorderly and was incoherently shouting obscenities at police.

During interview she expressed remorse for her behaviour and was released on police bail.

Two days later police were called to a disturbance at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Magee was sitting in a wheelchair shouting, swearing and spitting on the ground.

Defence counsel Nicola Coulter told the court her client got herself ‘into a cycle where she was unable to control her drinking’.

She said the 22-year-old, who has issues with alcohol, regrets her behaviour and is ‘genuinely remorseful’.

Jailing Magee for six months, Judge McElholm said sending addicts to prison wasn’t the answer because they cannot get services they need in there.

However, he said there was ‘no doubt’ the 22-year-old ‘needs a period of confinement, needs to get away from her drink addiction and then resolve to do something about it. She has to do that herself’.