Belfast Telegraph

Man jailed for punching doctor and headbutting nurse in Daisy Hill Hospital

By John Cassidy

A Co Louth man was today (Tuesday) jailed for six months for punching a doctor and headbutting a nurse while they were on duty in hospital.

Michael Hanrahan (33) of Glenmore Park, Dundalk, pleaded guilty to assaulting Dr Jeremy McMcCammon and nurse Mary McDonnell at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry Co Down last year.

Prosecutor Stephen McCourt told Newry Crown Court today that Hanrahan's pregnant partner was being treated as an outpatient at the hospital on March 11, 2014 when Hanrahan confronted the doctor and told him to "take responsibility'' for his wife before swearing at him.

Hanrahan then punched the doctor to the head, striking him on the left temple and causing a cut to his lip.

A week later, Judge Kevin Finnegan QC was told, Hanrahan was admitted to the same hospital following an overdose and during the night got out of bed and pulled a drip from his arm, causing it to bleed.

"Nurse Mary McDonnell saw him running to the toilet and he was bleeding. Security was called and while the nurse was tending to him to try and stop the bleeding, the defendant headbutted her to the right side of her head.''

Hanrahan was arrested by police but was released on bail and skipped the jurisdiction. He was arrested on May 15, 2014 while he was due before a court in Belfast.

The prosecutor said the offences were "serious'' as they were "carried out on medical staff in a hospital while they were performing their duties.''

"They were completely separate incidents but were both serious in their own rights,'' said Mr McCourt.

The court heard Hanrahan was jailed for 12 and a half months last Friday at Belfast Crown Court for a number of offences, including assault on police.

A defence barrister said Hanrahan was a member of the travelling community who had a history of medical and drug abuse problems.

She said that he was addicted to heroin and had also attempted suicide on a number of occasions.

The barrister accepted that the aggravating feature in the case was the fact that the assaults had taken place on medical staff in a hospital.

However, she said that Hanrahan that wanted to put his criminal offending behind him and return to his wife and four children, one of whom is four months old and was born while he was in prison.

Judge Kevin Finnegan QC imposed three month sentences of imprisonment on each count which he said would run consecutively.

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