Hospital patient who verbally abused police officer gets suspended jail sentence

Antrim Area Hospital

A GALGORM man who was taken to hospital by police then repeatedly called a female officer a “sl*t”.

Stewart Hillis (36), of Sandmount Road, was at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday for sentencing in relation to being disorderly at Antrim Area Hospital in November last year.

The court previously heard that in the early hours of November 25 after an incident at a house police took Hillis to hospital.

However, the defendant threatened police and at the hospital, where there was around twenty members of the public in a waiting area, the defendant swore and called a police officer a “sl*t”.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine told an earlier hearing his client had been “totally out of order” and was ashamed and disgusted at the way he had behaved after being taken to hospital by police to get treatment for an eye injury.

Hillis had drink taken at the time and wished to apologise.

District Judge Nigel Broderick previously said courts take a “very dim view” of disorderly incidents in hospitals.

He had deferred sentencing for six months and said Hillis had to keep out of trouble and complete Community Service.

Hillis was back in court for sentencing on Thursday and the judge noted there had been no re-offending and the Community Service had been completed.

The judge said it had been disorderly behaviour in a hospital when Hillis had been aggressive and was swearing loudly and although there had been no physical assault it was still a serious matter.

Mr Ballentine told Thursday’s court the defendant was “very ashamed and disgusted” at his behaviour and had previously apologised in court.

Judge Broderick said normally people can be sent to prison for criminal behaviour in hospitals but as there had been a “positive” Probation report on Hillis, who is in full-time employment, he suspended a three months jail term for two years.

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