Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Suicide bid man assaulted nurse

A Belfast man who verbally abused and squared up to a nurse trying to treat him after a suicide attempt behaved "scandalously", a judge said.

Gerard Toner was given a three-month suspended jail sentence for the assault in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

The 22-year-old, of Rockville Street, had binged on drink and diazepam drugs before attempting to hang himself in May.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard police were called to the hospital because of his behaviour on admission.

Prosecutors said he was abusive and confrontational to staff.

Although no physical assault took place the nurse feared she was going to be hit.

Toner was detained and found to have a small quantity of cannabis resin on him.

He pleaded guilty to common assault and possession of Class B drugs.

Toner's lawyer said he has no memory of the incident but accepts the seriousness of his behaviour in the hospital.

"Deputy District Judge Gerry Trainor described it as an "appalling situation" for a member of staff trying to treat Toner.

"The fear you put her in and the other persons doing their job that night is scandalous," he told the defendant.

The judge imposed a total of three months in prison, suspended for two years, for both charges.

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