Belfast Telegraph

Judge brands A&E 'hell' at weekends as man jailed for hospital attack on officer

By George Jackson

Conditions for staff at Altnagelvin Hospital's accident and emergency department must be like a "circle of hell" at the weekend, a court heard yesterday.

The comment was made by District Judge Barney McElholm at the Magistrates' Court in Londonderry.

He made the remark as he jailed a 33-year old local man, who admitted committing disorderly behaviour and assaulting a police officer in the accident and emergency department on August 5 of this year, for four months.

The defendant, William Simpson, from Dunluce Court in the Ballymagroarty area of the city, was drunk and aggressive towards medical staff who were attempting to tend to him.

He admitted shouting and swearing at the staff members in front of members of the public, some of them children.

The police were called and when Simpson refused to moderate his behaviour he was arrested for disorderly behaviour.

After his arrest he kicked one of the police officers in the leg.

Judge McElholm described Simpson's behaviour in the hospital as absolutely disgraceful.

"It must be like a circle of hell in there at weekends, which is something that was not envisaged," he said. "How staff work in that environment is beyond me and the staff there deserve the highest of praise. These people are not going to be allowed to get away with this."

Jailing Simpson for four months, Judge McElholm said he also noted that the defendant had not paid a single penny of outstanding fines totalling £2,000 which dated back to 2013.

Belfast Telegraph

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