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Northern Ireland doctor beaten as he examined patient, court told

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Ulster Hospital at Dundonald (PA)

Ulster Hospital at Dundonald (PA)

Ulster Hospital at Dundonald (PA)

A doctor was allegedly beaten repeatedly as he tried to examine a patient at the Ulster Hospital, a court was told on Thursday.

Alan Campbell, 29, is accused of carrying out an attack which left the medic unable to continue his duties for several hours.

Campbell, of Cooks Brae in Kircubbin, Co Down, is charged with two counts of common assault against the doctor and a security officer who intervened.

Newtownards Magistrates' Court, sitting in Belfast, heard he allegedly became violent after seeking treatment at the hospital in Dundonald on Wednesday.

A doctor on duty in the accident and emergency ward was targeted as he examined the defendant, an investigating detective claimed.

She said: "When he turned his back Mr Campbell, totally unprovoked, hit him a large number of times to the back and then struck him a number of times to the face."

The doctor pushed him away in a bid to protect other patients while a colleague attempted to restrain him.

A security guard was then allegedly struck repeatedly after Campbell was taken to another room.

District Judge Mark Hamill was told police had to wait to take statements from other staff due to the level of demand for medical treatment.

"The doctor's injuries took him off (the ward) for a number of hours during his busy shift," the detective added.

Seeking bail, a defence lawyer contended there could be delays in obtaining necessary reports because of the Covid-19 crisis.

But Mr Hamill refused the application and remanded Campbell in custody due to concerns about potential re-offending.

He said: "This is an alleged persistent attack, with multiple blows to the doctor.

"I'm not going to put staff at the Ulster Hospital at risk by letting this man out on bail."

Campbell is due to appear back in court again next month.

Belfast Telegraph