Craigavon Hospital mental health patient jailed for doctor attack

Craigavon Area Hospital
Craigavon Area Hospital

A man who slashed a Craigavon Hospital doctor’s neck and, days later, used a sharpened toothbrush handle to attack two mental health workers in a secure unit, has been jailed for 10 years.

Michael Larkin, 26, from Altnaveigh Park in Newry, was assessed as posing a “significant” risk to the public.

The judge said he had considered giving a life or indeterminate sentence.

In the end, he imposed an extended sentence, meaning a parole commission will decide if and when he is released.

The court heard that Larkin had a long history of mental illness and had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Last June, he was “involuntarily” resident in the Bluestone psychiatric unit at Craigavon Hospital.

As his consultant left Larkin’s cell, pushing a trolley ahead of him, he was attacked from behind.

In what the court heard was a “brief but determined” assault, the doctor was cut three times: once above the eyelid and twice to the neck.

Larkin was sentenced for two attempted murders and wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, as well as two counts of having a weapon.