Man jailed for abuse to hospital staff

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A Coleraine man who needed medical attention after being beaten with an iron bar became disorderly at the town’s Causeway Hospital and has been jailed for four months.

Hugh Joseph Martin Finnegan (30), of Greenmount Park, swore at medical staff, police and patients after shouting: “Why the f--k am I being made to wait?”

The incident happened on the evening of June 9 this year and at Coleraine Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Finnegan, who had a “significant record,” was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to a disorderly behaviour charge.

A prosecutor said Finnegan was taken to hospital by ambulance but police were called an hour later after he was verbally abusive to staff and members of the public walking past at the Emergency Department.

He was using “foul and abusive” language and was moved to another room to prevent distress to other patients which included children.

Police stayed with him and he continued to be verbally abusive.

The prosecutor said the defendant was arrested at 11.15pm when relevant medical tests were concluded.

A defence lawyer told the earlier court sitting Finnegan had been out in Coleraine and suffered a “very bad beating” which included him being attacked with an iron bar.

At Monday’s court, defence barrister Thomas McKeever said his client, who had a “significant record,” had no excuse for his behaviour at the hospital “particularly when there were children and other members of the public present”.

Jailing Finnegan for four months, District Judge Liam McNally said the behaviour had not been “pleasant” for others attending hospital.