Altnagelvin hospital rampage sparked after staff refused private room with TV request

A man who went on a drunken rampage at a hospital after staff refused his request for a private room with a television was jailed on Thursday.

Caomhin McConnell, 31, from Glenowen Park in Derry, pleaded guilty at the city’s magistrates’ court to assaulting three nurses and a porter, guilty of attempting to cause criminal damage to a hospital chair by kicking him in the ward and guilty of threatening to damage the hospital. equipment by tearing it from a wall.

A prosecution lawyer told Deputy District Judge Alan White that McConnell arrived at the Altnagelvin Hospital emergency room in the early hours of February 27. He was sitting in a chair eating from a bag of chips and, when approached by a nursing assistant, he “demanded a private room with a television.”

The lawyer added: “When he was told this was not possible, he became very aggressive towards the nursing assistant, insulted the member of staff and shook his fist at her. He was then approached by a hospital doorman and was aggressive towards him, telling him: “I might kick you in the head.” I’m a boxer and I could beat you.”

“When another nurse approached him, he threatened to take a knife and told her he would gouge out her eyes so she would never see her children again. He then attempted to remove items from the wall and kicked the chair several times. Among the patients in the accident and emergency department at the time were three elderly patients, one of whom was terminally ill. He was repeatedly asked to moderate his behavior in front of these patients, but he refused to do so.

Barrister Paddy MacDermott told the deputy district judge “there is nothing good to say about his behaviour”.

He added: “It was absolutely disgraceful and disgusting. He now acknowledges that his behavior was completely inappropriate, is remorseful for his actions and apologizes to hospital staff. He has been in custody for ten weeks since his arrest for these offences.

Mr White said he was “forced to give him some credit for his guilty plea” and imposed a five-month prison sentence.

For all the latest news visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up for our daily newsletter here.