‘Tragic’ teen wielded knife in Altnagelvin

Altnagelvin Hospital.
Altnagelvin Hospital.

A teenager who ‘brandished’ a knife in the accident and emergency department of Altnagelvin Hospital has been ordered to spend 12 months on probation.

Imposing the probation order, Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes said there were ‘exceptional circumstances’ in the case and in the 28 years he had been in the legal profession he had never heard of a more tragic background.

Caolan Lang, of Jefferson Court, pleaded guilty to possessing a knife, disorderly behaviour and assaulting police on August 4.

Londonderry Magistrate’s Court was told police were called to the accident and emergency department after the 19-year-old brandished the small black handled knife.

The officers entered the cubicle and Lang refused to drop the knife.

He then put it in his pocket and police continued to talk to him until they could disarm him.

After he was arrested, Lang hit an officer on the left shoulder.

He also told them to ‘f*** off, you can’t keep me here’.

Defence counsel Nicki Rountree said her client had a number of difficulties and found himself at his lowest ebb on this night.

She said he had no memory of how he got to the hospital but had written a letter apologising to both police and hospital staff for his behaviour.

The barrister added Lang did not take the knife to the hospital with the intention of causing harm to anyone else.

Passing sentence on Lang Judge Holmes said that ‘hopefully you will never end up as low as you did that night. I can only wish you the best with that’.