Belfast man in vile tirade at nurse while receiving treatment avoids jail
A North Belfast man who verbally abused a nurse at the Mater Hospital was yesterday handed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Daniel John Waller was told by the judge that Northern Ireland's courts took a "zero tolerance" approach to the public abusing hospital staff.
Waller (28), of Upper Crumlin Road, pleaded guilty at Belfast Magistrates Court to a single charge of disorderly behaviour.
A prosecution lawyer told the court that on December 6 last year police arrested Millar and took him to Musgrave Street police station for questioning about an unrelated matter.
He was later taken to the Mater Hospital for treatment to a hand injury and during this treatment had to be restrained.District Judge Philip Mateer was told that Waller - who has 44 offences on his criminal record - became abusive towards staff, calling one nurse a "fat, specky c***", and continued to act in an abusive way.
At 3am the following day he was arrested for disorderly behaviour and in reply to the charge he said: "I didn't do f*** all at the hospital."
Defence solicitor Billy McNulty told the court that following the incident Waller apologised to the nurse he had verbally abused. "He said sorry to her afterwards," the solicitor said.
He told the court that in March this year Waller had overdosed on tablets and was taken to the Mater Hospital where he was put in an "induced coma" and remained on a life support machine for 10 days.
Waller was subsequently transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital where it was discovered he had suffered a stroke and had paralysis down his left arm and left leg. Mr McNulty said: "It was a life-changing moment for him. He is now a chastened man."
The defence solicitor said Waller now appreciated the work that the hospital staff had done for him since his overdose.
District Judge Mateer said that Waller was currently the subject of a four-month suspended sentence for other matters.
He said the custody threshold had been met but Waller would received a lesser sentence because of his guilty plea. District Judge Mateer told Waller: "If you commit any further offences in the next two years, you are going straight into custody for 10 months. There is absolutely no doubt about that."