Judge's fury at defendant's 'absolutely atrocious' incident in Craigavon Hospital

Judge's fury at defendant's 'absolutely atrocious' incident in Craigavon Hospital

Craigavon Area Hospital

Staff reporter

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Friday 1 July 2022 22:00

A defendant, who turned up at Craigavon Area Hospital drunk and caused disorderly behaviour, has been warned he will spend Christmas in prison if he doesn’t stay off alcohol.

The case of David O’Hara, (37), of Woodlands, Gilford, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, June 29.

The court heard that on January 26 this year, police received a report from Craigavon Area Hospital of a male who had come into the department and kicked off at other patients.

Officers arrived and spoke to staff who had restrained the defendant.

O’Hara was arrested and made no reply when cautioned.

In his defence, the court was told that O’Hara suffers from an alcohol addiction and that he was referred to the hospital by his GP but he had no right to be seen immediately by a doctor.

Defence barrister, Damian Halloran, outlined that his client had a “difficult upbringing” and experienced trauma from a serious motorbike accident and is certified unfit to work.

Mr Halloran stated that he can’t see the Community Addictions Team when intoxicated but he hasn’t had a drink until the end of February, with a further appointment set-up in July.

It was revealed that O’Hara’s partner is a registered nurse in Australia and works in addiction so “knows the score”.

The barrister alluded to the fact that his client knows he needs to pull himself together otherwise he will drink himself to death.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “Mr O’Hara, this is absolutely atrocious.

“Only sick people and their relatives attend A&E, and hope to be treated by the medical attending staffs that are there present.

“Those staff are going to do a day’s work, or in some instances, a night’s work.

“Can you imagine what it feels like to waken up, to get yourself dressed up for work, knowing that you are going to be put in a position of fear during your day’s work – do you know what that would feel like?

“You, and your ilk, are the cause of that.

“You cannot behave like this in a hospital, in fact you cannot behave like this anywhere, but most definitely not in a hospital.

“We need to send out a consistent message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in any right thinking society.”

The Judge deferred sentencing until December 23 this year and added that O’Hara will go to prison if he consumes alcohol, gets into trouble with the police or misses an appointment with the Community Addictions Team.

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