A Londonderry man has appeared in court charged in connection with an incident at Altnagelvin Hospital on Tuesday night when police officers disarmed a man who had an imitation pistol.
During the alert 35 people, including patients, had to be evacuated by police officers and hospital staff from the Accident and Emergency department.
Martin Thomas Boyd (46), a landscape gardener from the Fountain Estate, is charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Police told District Judge Eamonn King the defendant was arrested by three police officers.
“The police received a report from a member of hospital staff that a drunk male was in the patient room with a hand gun. Police officers arrived, by which stage he had moved into a treatment room.
“The defendant was challenged by three officers who had their firearms drawn. He was arrested and taken to Strand Road police station. During his police interview he said he had bought the BB gun for his 13-year-old son at the Lammas Fair in Ballycastle earlier in the day,” the police witness said.
“The imitation gun was in a box, but after drinking eight pints of beer he made his way back to Derry and went to Altnagelvin Hospital with the gun clearly visible tucked inside his waistband,” he added.
Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client had gone to hospital to have his broken left arm, which was in plaster, examined.
“The police accept that he was not waving the imitation firearm around in the hospital and they accept it was not his intention to be violent. It is not a case of causing havoc in a hospital ward,” he said.
Remanding the defendant on his own bail of £250, the judge said the defendant should have consumed more dulse rather than alcohol at the Lammas Fair.