Woman assaulted nurse court is told

The inquest took place at Ballymena Courthouse
The inquest took place at Ballymena Courthouse

A woman who assaulted a nurse in Altnagelvin Hospital received a suspended sentence when she appeared in the dock at Londonderry Magistrates Court.

Marie Kennedy (59), of Eskaheen View in the Waterside, pleaded guilty to common assault and disorderly behaviour on August 3, last year.

The court heard she contacted police to say she was feeling suicidal, but when she was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital she began using offensive language. As she was receiving treatment Kennedy raised her arms and said she should be allowed outside for a smoke. As a nurse tried to administer an injection Kennedy pushed her and grabbed her by the arm. The nurse sustained a four inch red mark to her forearm.

During police interview, Kennedy said she had been drinking high strength beer and was feeling depressed. She apologized for her behaviour and claimed she was afraid of needles and always turned away when she was getting an injection.

Defence solicitor Leonie Keegan told the court her client had problems with alcohol and depression, but she was receiving help from the community addiction team.

She told the court that Kennedy could not remember anything that happened while in the hospital.

District Judge Barney McElholm suspended a four month sentence for two years. He also ordered Kennedy to complete a 120-hour Community Service Order and to pay £200 in compensation to the nurse.