Belfast Telegraph

Drunken thug jailed for kicking heavily pregnant A&E nurse

By Paul Higgins

A man who kicked a pregnant nurse in the back and exposed himself to her colleague in a busy accident and emergency department was sent to prison for four months yesterday.

Jailing 27-year-old Christopher McDaid at Craigavon Magistrates Court, District Judge Bernie Kelly described his behaviour as "despicable and obscene".

She said: "To attack a woman who was eight months pregnant is obscene and made all the more obscene when you realise her role was as a medical practitioner, there to provide medical assistance to you because of the state that you voluntarily got yourself into."

At an earlier hearing McDaid, from Dill Avenue in Lurgan, who appeared yesterday via videolink, pleaded guilty to a total of 12 charges arising from three different incidents on February 14, March 17 and April 6 this year.

The offences included two counts of disorderly behaviour; two of resisting police; two of assaulting police; obstructing police; exposure; common assault; failing to provide a specimen of breath, and two of causing criminal damage to a hospital cubicle and the ambulance triage area at Craigavon Area Hospital.

On St Valentine's Day police received a report of a drunk driver on Charles Street in Lurgan and when they arrived at the scene found McDaid "unsteady on his feet, shouting and swearing" with the keys to the car in his pocket.

Footage from a nearby bar showed McDaid driving the car, but he refused to give a breath sample and was shouting and spitting at police when he was arrested.

The most serious incident arose on St Patrick's Day when police took McDaid to Craigavon Area Hospital.

A prosecuting lawyer described how a nurse, who was expecting, walked past McDaid to take his blood pressure when he kicked her in the back.

"She challenged him about his behaviour and he replied: 'I don't give a f***'," he told the court, adding that another nurse took McDaid to the triage area.

Once there, however, he exposed himself and urinated around the room, and again when challenged by this nurse, McDaid directed a tirade of abuse at her.

In sight of other patients, McDaid initially refused to cover himself up but eventually did so, leaving hospital staff "extremely distressed".

McDaid was also offensive to police, verbally abusing them, lashing out, and even "spat in the mouth of an officer".

Thankfully, neither the nurse he kicked nor her unborn baby came to any harm, the court heard.

On April 6 police called at a Lurgan bar and when they tried to arrest McDaid for a breach of bail he "became aggressive" and spat at officers.

A defence lawyer said that something had happened to McDaid last year which had brought about a "sea change in his character" and led to severe alcohol abuse.

As well as jailing him, Judge Kelly disqualified McDaid from driving for 15 months and fined him £150.

She told him that, had she been allowed, she would have imposed an order barring him from Craigavon Area Hospital.

"You have a hospital right on your doorstep, a large amount of people in Northern Ireland don't have that," she said.

"If you had to travel to Belfast or Antrim for treatment you may realise the luxury you have to have a hospital on your doorstep."

Belfast Telegraph

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