Pensioner Denies Assaulting GP In Row Over Anti-Depressant Drug

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",

he said.

Dr. Molloy said he took Dr. Palin's pulse and blood pressure readings but

results did not cause him any alarm.

The trial continues.