Belfast Telegraph

Shaken patient who saw women's ward assault died next day, judge told

BY GEORGE JACKSON

A terminally ill patient who saw two women assaulting another male patient in a hospital intensive care unit and became "highly distressed" died the day after, a court has been told.

The disclosure was made during a bail application for Bridget Mongan (23), from Stanley's Walk in Londonderry, and Eileen Stokes (29), from Mourne Park in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone. Both admit assaulting patient Patrick Mongan, the defendant Mongan's brother and the defendant Stokes' partner, at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

An earlier hearing heard that during the attack medical staff lay across the patient's head in an attempt to protect him as his partner and sister punched and slapped him. He was being treated for head and spinal injuries.

The defendants were in the unit earlier visiting Mr Mongan but they returned in a drunken condition and punched and slapped Mr Mongan as he lay semi-conscious. Staff rushed to the room where they were verbally and physically abused.

Staff managed to remove the two from the unit but they managed to regain entry by following a doctor into the ward.

They ran down the corridor chased by medical staff who prevented them from gaining access to Mr Mongan's room, but Stokes broke free and she went into the room where she was seen pulling Mr Mongan across the bed.

The two women also admit assaulting three members of the hospital's medical staff and they further admit causing disorderly behaviour in the intensive care unit on January 4.

Opposing bail, a police officer told District Judge Barney McElholm that medical staff feared the defendants would reoffend if released on bail. He said the doctor in charge had raised safety concerns, before adding: "There is a further statement from another doctor in the ICU.

"He said there was a patient next to Mr Mongan who was being visited by his wife, who both witnessed the assault.

"He was terminally ill and he became highly distressed and had to be given medication and he died the following day."

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said he accepted that "appalling facts gave rise to the charges".

"Thankfully Mr Mongan has been moved out of the ICU to another ward and is making a reasonable recovery."

The District Judge refused the application and said he would not consider the case again until Mr Mongan was out of hospital.

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