Belfast Telegraph

Nurse's drunken attack in Belfast airport wrecks marriage plan and risks job, court told

By Paul Higgins

This is the disgraced Northern Ireland nurse who faces losing her job for a drunken and "unsavoury'' attack on police and airport staff while waiting to catch a flight to Ibiza with friends.

Antrim Magistrates' Court heard that the incident had also cost Shauna Quinn her planned marriage to her partner.

Quinn (34), of The Blackthorns in Newry, had pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour, two counts of assaulting police officers and one charge of common assault on an airport worker.

A prosecution lawyer told the court that Quinn was in the departure lounge at Belfast International Airport at around 6.20am on August 21, 2017.

Passengers waiting to catch flights reported that Quinn was drunk and was being disorderly.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan heard that Quinn had grabbed an airport staff worker, putting two hands around her head and had "scratched her hand''.

Airport police went to the departure lounge and tried to calm the situation but noticed Quinn's "eyes were glazed over''.

"She was swearing persistently and was in an aggressive manner,'' said the prosecution lawyer.

"Police removed her from the lounge and (she) was lashing out at police and smacked one police officer to the face and continually swore at them.

"It was then police decided to put her in handcuffs and take her to Antrim police station.''

The court was told Quinn continued with her aggressive behaviour in the station and "for her own safety police had to put her in a wheelchair and she was continually banging her head off the perspex sheet in her cell''.

A defence solicitor said Quinn was "extremely remorseful and embarrassed'' about her behaviour at the airport, telling the court she "has little recollection'' of events.

He told the district judge his client had been drinking the previous night "and too much alcohol had been consumed in the morning'' with her friends who were heading on holiday to the island of Ibiza.

The solicitor described the injuries as "low level'', saying that as well as smacking a police officer across the face, she also "kicked them in the shins''.

"Miss Quinn has asked me to put on record her sincere apologies to the member of airport staff and also the police officers.''

He continued that Quinn was the mother of a 15-year-old daughter and that as a result of this incident her partner called off plans to marry her.

The solicitor told the court his client was currently on sick leave and was also the subject of disciplinary proceedings in her workplace as a result of the drunken attack.

"I have told her that as a result of these proceedings there is a real risk of her losing her job.''

He added that Quinn was currently addressing her alcohol problems.

District Judge Mullan told Quinn: "This was an unsavoury incident in an area where the public were present, waiting either to catch a flight to go on holiday or a business flight.

"Your behaviour was extremely poor on that day when you not only assaulted a member of airport staff but also a number of police officers.

"It was obvious that there were distressed people in the public area at the time. It is clear far too much alcohol was consumed by you. I have been told that you are ashamed and extremely remorseful."

The judge said she was placing Quinn on 12 months' probation and ordering her to serve 60 hours of community service.

Quinn was also fined £150 for disorderly behaviour.

But District Judge Mullan warned her: "If you do not complete this order you will be brought back to court to be re-sentenced.

"I am hopeful that you will complete the order and you will not be back before the court again.''

Belfast Telegraph

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