Backpack ‘bomb threat to blow up’ Antrim Hospital – court

Antrim Area Hospital.

A MAN who claimed to have a bomb in his backpack and threatened to “blow up” Antrim Area Hospital has been given a six months jail sentence.

Jordan Brownlee (23) from Antrim, shouted: “I’m going to blow up the hospital, I have ammonium nitrate, I have TNT”.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court, sitting in Antrim, that at 8pm on June 7 this year police were called to the hospital following a report made by a nurse that a “hostile” man was in the Emergency Department shouting “that he had explosives in his backpack and was threatening to blow up the hospital”.

Police located the defendant just outside the Emergency Department entrance with hospital staff and members of the public nearby and he appeared extremely intoxicated, was slurring his words and was smelling of alcohol.

The prosecutor said that despite several warning by police Brownlee continued to shout and behave aggressively towards police and hospital staff.

The prosecution lawyer said the defendant was searched with “negative” results with only a small bag of herbal cannabis in the backpack.

After arrest Brownlee shouted: “I’m going to blow up the hospital, I have ammonium nitrate, I have TNT”.

The defendant appeared at court via a video link for sentencing on charges including disorderly behaviour and possession of cannabis.

Whilst on bail, on August 18 this year, the defendant had other offences detected including cultivation of cannabis.

He was back at Antrim Area Hospital on August 19 where he caused damage and kicked doors. He was being sentenced for a number of other offences including again being disorderly at the hospital.

The prosecutor said police were called to the hospital on August 19 regarding Brownlee’s “aggressive behaviour”.

The prosecution lawyer said Brownlee had locked himself in a toilet.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said when arrested in August the defendant had been “confused” and at one stage the defendant told a solicitor over the phone that “people were coming for him” and that he had “a bomb in his cell”.

Mr Moore said Brownlee suffered mental health difficulties during the covid lockdown period and bought drugs over the internet.

The lawyer said the reference to a “bomb” at the hospital was because of the defendant’s mental health when he had ingested so many drugs he had “no rational idea about what was going on”.

The barrister said Brownlee is now attempting to deal with his drug issues.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the “nature of the offences”, their multiplicity, the defendant’s previous record and being in breach of a suspended sentence meant Brownlee was being jailed for six months.

Bail was fixed on the sum of £500 pending appeal.

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