Jailed for disorderly behaviour at hospital

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A man who was abusive to staff Altnagelvin Hospital was jailed when he appeared at Londonderry Magistrates Court.

Joseph Harkin (52), of Altcar Park, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour, assaulting and resisting arrest, as well as causing damage to a PSNI vehicle on May 30.

The court heard police were called to the accident and emergency department because Harkin was being abusive to staff. He had been in the department for four hours and had refused to be assessed by the medical staff and became aggressive and began kicking doors.

Hospital staff refused to treat him until he was sober.

Police tried to reason with him, however he lunged from his chair and tried to head butt an officer.

Harkin was arrested and he struggled with police. He also tensed his arms as they put handcuffs on him.

The court heard he was taken into the police car and spat inside it.

The car had to be removed from service and deep cleaned at a cost of £45.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client has struggled with alcohol and drug abuse for the last 30 years.

He described Harkin’s criminal record as a “testament to that fact”.

The court was also told that Harkin has been in custody since the beginning of June and had served an equivalent of a four month sentence.

District Judge Barney McElholm jailed Harkin for four months.