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Belfast mum who spat at nurse and attacked police is jailed

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The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast (Paul Faith/PA)

The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast (Paul Faith/PA)

The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast (Paul Faith/PA)

A patient who tried to bite and spat in the face of a Belfast nurse has been jailed for four months.

Nadine Thompson, 25, also attacked police officers as they attempted to restrain her at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the city.

The mother-of-two's lawyer said her behaviour on Christmas Eve last year was "totally reprehensible".

Thompson, of Shore Crescent in the city, was convicted of common assault and two assaults on police.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard she turned violent in the hospital's Accident and Emergency Department following a suspected overdose on December 24.

A staff nurse said Thompson tried to bite her while she was attempting to provide treatment.

"The defendant then grabbed her by the hair and spat in her face," a Crown lawyer submitted.

Thompson refused to comply with requests to lie down on a bed for further assessment, swearing and becoming increasingly agitated in front of other patients.

She kicked out at staff and police were called to the hospital.

The prosecutor added: "She spat on two police officers while being restrained."

Defence counsel Turlough Madden acknowledged the seriousness of his client's actions.

"It's totally reprehensible behaviour," the barrister said.

"But some comfort can be taken from the fact these offences weren't committed during the current pandemic."

Mr Madden described Thompson as a vulnerable woman who ended up in hospital because of an overdose.

Since then she has enrolled in a rehabilitation programme in a bid to turn her life around.

Ordering her to serve four months behind bars, District Judge Mark Hamill indicated the sentence would have been longer if she had no vulnerabilities.

He stressed: "You cannot behave like this in a hospital, or against police officers."

Belfast Telegraph