Former nurse involved in almost 200 incidents breaches ASBO within weeks by verbally abusing staff at Antrim Area Hospital

Antrim Area Hospital

A FORMER nurse previously involved in almost 200 incidents has, within weeks, breached an ASBO banning her from harassing and verbally abusing and assaulting members of the emergency services.

Denise Gray (56), of Staffa Drive in Ballymena, has admitted verbally abusing and inconveniencing hospital staff at Antrim Area Hospital which she was prohibited from doing as part of the anti-social behaviour order.

The incident happened on December 1.

Denise Gray


A guilty plea was entered at Antrim Magistrates Court this week and the case was adjourned to January for a pre-sentence report.

In November at Coleraine Magistrates Court the defendant had been given a three year ASBO after she came to police attention on August 29 this year at Coleraine’s Causeway Hospital where she was causing a disturbance and shouting foul language at staff.

She previously pleaded guilty to charges of being disorderly at Causeway Hospital and assaulting a police officer on the same date.

It emerged there was no medical reason for her to remain in the hospital and she swore at police and officers gave her a lift home from the Emergency Department.

However, at her address she then refused to exit the police vehicle. A short time later outside her front door she struck out twice with an elbow towards an officer narrowly missing his face.

Gray continued to shout and slipped her hand out of handcuffs and swung towards the officer narrowly missing him.

A defence solicitor told a previous sitting of Coleraine Magistrates Court the “irony” in the case was that Gray had previously worked as a nurse in England and had been the subject of disruptive patients during her career.

The lawyer said it was a “sad case” as Gray returned to Northern Ireland around ten years ago and her “life has gone into freefall” with drink being her “ruination”.

He said she had also worked in charity shops in the past but now had medical and mental health conditions.

At the earlier court hearing Gray had wept in the dock as a police officer applied for an interim Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) banning the defendant from harassing the emergency services including making non-emergency calls.

The officer said there had been “196 incidents of abuse towards the emergency services and abuse of the emergency services” and a cycle involved making phone calls and drinking alcohol.

The defendant had moved address 14 times in recent years, the court heard.

The judge at Coleraine Magistrates Court had told Gray: “As a former nurse you don’t need me to tell you that this behaviour is completely and utterly unacceptable.”

At Coleraine Court at the end of October Gray was given a six months prison term, suspended for three years, and an interim ASBO banned her from harassing the emergency services including making non-emergency phone calls and she also had to leave hospitals if asked to.

The interim ASBO was then made a full ASBO in November.

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