Jail if you misbehave in hospital

Craigavon Hospital - Picture Gavan Caldwell'see story Philip Bradfield
Craigavon Hospital - Picture Gavan Caldwell'see story Philip Bradfield

Anyone who ‘looks sideways at anybody’ in Craigavon Hospitel will go to jail, a local judge has warned.

The resident judge at Craigavon Magistrates Court, Mrs Bernie Kelly, has warned she is changing her sentencing policy for anyone who behaves badly in a hospital.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, made the comment at last Wednesday’s court during a case involving a 19-year-old woman who was disorderly in Craigavon Area Hospital.

Chloe O’Hanlon, Lurgantarry, Lurgan, admitted disorderly behaviour, assaulting a constable and resisting a constable.

The court heard that on February 1 this year at 10.20pm police went to Sandy Road, Gilford, where they found the defendant on the floor being restrained by her father.

They separated her from others and her behaviour changed from calm to being agitated. Her eye was bloodshot but there was no smell of alcohol on her breath.

O’Hanlon then threw a roll of carpet down the stairs and it struck an officer on the shin. She then had to be handcuffed.

She was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital for medical attention.

O’Hanlon started shouting and swearing in a busy area where people and children were present.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court to obtain a pre-sentence report.

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said there was a favourable recommendation in the report.

He added that O’Hanlon knew her behaviour was unacceptable and what happened at the hospital cannot be tolerated.

Judge Kelly said she had been at Craigavon court for two years and she had been telling everybody they cannot behave like this in a hospital.

She added that nobody had taken any notice so she was going to change her sentencing policy as they only way to get the message across.

“I am sending out a message loud and clear that it will be immediate custody for anyone who even looks sideways at anybody in a hospital,” added the judge.

She told O’Hanlon that staff had to move patients from A and E because of her behaviour.

The judge added that the defendant was intoxicated by something this evening.

“You can ingest whatever poisons you want and everybody else has to deal with you,” she told the defendant.

Judge Kelly imposed a combination order of 80 hours community service and 12 months probation.