Jail term for man who tried to hit police officer with electric fan at hospital on Easter Sunday

A man who picked up an electric fan and attempted to strike a police officer at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine on Easter Sunday this year has been given a jail term.

Christopher Charles O’Reilly (27), with an address listed as Kennaught Terrace in Limavady, was at the hospital for treatment and began shouting and swearing demanding medication.

After trying to strike the police officer with the fan he was restrained on the floor and struggled and during the incident part of a fingernail was ripped off.

Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said the defendant was aware of the views of the court regarding incidents at hospitals.

He said the defendant had a range of difficulties, the foremost being addiction, and he was on a Subutex programme.

The defendant pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour and assault on police.

District Judge Peter King said it would have been a difficult enough case if the incident had taken place “on a street on a Friday night” but the fact that it took place in a hospital was an aggravating factor.

The defendant was given a four months jail term but was released on £500 bail pending appeal along with a £500 surety.

As part of the bail conditions the defendant is not to present himself at any NHS facility without a pre-arranged appointment or in a genuine emergency and he must continue with existing addiction treatment.

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