Belfast Telegraph

Drunk hospital patient punched nurse after being refused a cigarette, court told

Mater Hospital
Mater Hospital

By Alan Erwin

A hospital patient high on drink and drugs allegedly punched a male nurse after being refused a cigarette, the High Court heard.

Peter Hall inflicted a blow to the man's face after shouting "I know where you live", prosecutors claimed.

The 32-year-old is charged with a common assault at the doors of the Mater Hospital in north Belfast on August 17.

Hall, of Victoria Street in the city, was granted bail but banned from any contact with the injured party.

He was said to have launched the attack after leaving the Mater in the early hours of the morning.

A Crown lawyer submitted: "He approached the victim and asked him for a cigarette.

"The victim refused, walking into the hospital, at which point the defendant shouted 'I know where you live'.

"He ran after the victim, punching him on the right side of the jaw."

When Hall was arrested and interviewed he said he had no recollection of the alleged assault which left the victim shaken.

Prosecution counsel claimed that he poses a danger to himself and members of the public.

Asked if his client was denying the charge, defence barrister Sean O'Hare replied: "He's not in a position to dispute it."

Mr O'Hare went on: "This took place against a background of overindulgence in alcohol and non-prescription medication which took him to the hospital in the first place."

Granting bail, Mr Justice Horner ordered Hall to co-operate with relevant authorities.

He told defence counsel: "Assaults at hospital just can't be accepted.

"You need to make it clear to your client that he needs to abide by these conditions strictly, and he needs to do something about his drinking and drug (taking)."

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