A sixty-nine years old retired civil servant has gone on trial in Derry charged with punching his doctor in the face in the city's Clarendon Medical Centre.
John Francis Bradley from Academy Road, denies a charge of common assault
against Dr. Ian Palin. He's alleged to have committed the offence in the
doctor's surgery on May 15, 2006, when they had a disagreement about the
defendant's continued use of the anti-depressant drug Seroxat.
In his evidence on the first day of the trial at Derry Crown Court before a
jury of six men and six women, Dr. Palin said he had worked as a G.P. in the
medical centre for over thirty years. When the defendant arrived for his
appointment on the afternooon of May 15, 2006, Dr. Palin said he noticed he
was anxious and upset and constantly talked.
The witness said the defendant was being treated for a number of physical
and mental health concerns and during the consultation the defendant said he
had watched a television documentary the previous night which linked Seroxat
to a number of suicides in England, something that made him unhappy to
continue taking the drug.
Dr. Palin said the defendant had been on Seroxat for two years because of
his history of depression. He described the defendant as anxious, nervy and
constantly repeating things.
"He became agitated and began to swear and was verbally abusive to me.
He continued with his complaints and I realised he wasn't listening to me. I
began to rise to indicate that the consultation was over and I moved towards
the door so that I could open it to let him out". he said.
"After I told him I felt the consultation could not continue, I began to
rise. Mr. Bradley leapt to his feet. He said 'you bastard' and he came at me
kicking and punching me a number of times. One punch connected with the left
side of my head. Most of them were glancing blows and I was able to fend
them off and I tried to hold his arms to stop him punching me and I fended
him off", he added.
Dr. Palin said the defendant then lay down on the floor in the foetal
position before he eventually left the surgery. He said the defendant said
he would say that he had struck him and that he was going to report the
doctor to the B.M.A. The witness said that following the alleged assault,
the defendant had been removed from the medical centre's list of patients.
Dr. Paul Molloy who works with Dr. Palin in the medical centre, said he was
holding a surgery in the centre at the time of the alleged incident after
which Dr. Palin came into his surgery.
"He complained that his eye, his left eye, was a wee bit sore. I examined
the left eye. I found it was tender, no bruising with no break in the skin",
Dr. Molloy said he took Dr. Palin's pulse and blood pressure readings but
results did not cause him any alarm.
The trial continues.