Belfast Telegraph

Man who defecated on Northern Ireland hospital floor refused to clean it up saying 'that's what staff were for'

The incident happened at Altnagelvin Hospital.
The incident happened at Altnagelvin Hospital.

By George Jackson

A man who defecated on the floor of a Northern Ireland hospital and refused to clean it up saying "that's what hospital staff were for" has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Ciaran Donohoe from Culmore Road in Londonderry was handed a five-month jail term, suspended for two years, at Londonderry Magistrates' Court.

The 45-year-old admitted committing criminal damage at Altnagelvin Hospital on May 2. He also admitted driving under the influence of the drug etizolam, possessing the drug, assaulting a police officer, disorderly behaviour and causing criminal damage to police handcuffs by contaminating them.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service told District Judge Barney McElholm that on that date police received reports of a car being driven in an erratic manner along the Culmore Road.

The car was traced to Donohoe's home address and there the police found the car parked in a rear driveway. Its wheels and bonnet were warm and Donohoe admitted he'd been driving the car.

Because of his condition which included slurred speech, glazed eyes and unsteadiness on his feet the police breathalysed him on suspicion of drink driving. When the reading produced a zero result the police searched Donohoe and found a number of etizolam tablets in his trouser pockets.

Due to a concern for his safety, the police brought Donohoe to Altnagelvin Hospital. In the accident and emergency department he used loud offensive language in front of other patients and staff members.

He refused several police requests to moderate his behaviour before asking to be taken to a toilet inside which he defecated on the toilet floor before picking up his stool and throwing it around the bathroom.

When he was handcuffed he contaminated the handcuffs and sang at a police officer "come out you black and tan, fight me like a man". He was also covered in his own urine.

Defence barrister Stephen Chapman described Donohoe's behaviour as "a distasteful nature of offending".

He said Donohoe's driving licence was revoked soon after his offending, for which Donohoe was remorseful, embarrassed and shameful. Mr Chapman said that Donohoe, who apologised for his behaviour, lived with his parents in the family home.

Donohoe was put on probation for 18 months, given five months jail suspended for two years, disqualified from driving for 12 months, fined £300 and ordered to pay compensation to the police for contaminating the handcuffs which had been applied to him.

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