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Mother-of-eight withdraws appeal over jail term for assault

By George Jackson

Published 05/01/2016

A mother of eight children, all of whom are in the care of the social services, has been jailed for four months for assaulting a female nurse
A mother of eight children, all of whom are in the care of the social services, has been jailed for four months for assaulting a female nurse

A mother of eight children, all of whom are in the care of the social services, has been jailed for four months for assaulting a female nurse.

Edel Patricia McLaughlin (35), who had 75 previous criminal convictions, yesterday withdrew her appeal after she was sentenced last month for the attack, as well as disorderly behaviour in Ward 31 in Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry. McLaughlin, from Barnwall Place, Spencer Road, in the Waterside area of Londonderry, committed the two offences last October 19.

It happened two months after she was released from jail, where she had been serving a four-month sentence for a public order offence, and one month after she received a suspended sentence for another public order offence.

The Magistrates Court had been told that McLaughlin was so aggressive towards the ward sister that she thought she was about to be assaulted.

The police arrived in the ward after they had received two reports about McLaughlin's aggressive behaviour towards the ward sister and patients.

The ward sister told the police that McLaughlin had ignored several requests to leave the ward. The police located McLaughlin outside the hospital.

She was drunk and her speech was slurred and the officers arrested her.

A defence solicitor told the court last month that McLaughlin was nervous about the possibility of going to jail and she was anxious to continue with the counselling she was receiving for her addiction problems.

In the Crown Court in Derry yesterday, a barrister for McLaughlin said she'd decided not to appeal against the four-month jail sentence. McLaughlin was immediately taken into custody to serve the sentence in Hydebank Prison.

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