Man spat blood and mucus at police officer in ‘disgusting’ hospital attack

A man rushed to hospital after being found at a forest after taking half an E tab and downing vodka, then spat blood and mucus at a police officer.

Ryan Stirling (18), of Laurel Avenue in Coleraine, was jailed for four months for what District Judge Peter King described as a “disgusting assault”.

The defendant was sentenced at Coleraine Magistrates Court for offences of assault on police and disorderly behaviour relating to June 27 this year.

A prosecutor said Stirling vomited at the Emergency Department at Coleraine’s Causeway Hospital and was shouting and swearing and police took him to a private room where he headbutted a chair and was making efforts to hit his head off the ground.

He then spat at a police officer and a “thick layer of mucus and blood” hit his body vest which had to be cleaned off with anti-bacterial wipes.

The court heard the defendant also came to police attention at the Simon Community at Mount Street Mews in Coleraine on July 11 where he punched a male and headbutted a female and also kicked a door.

He attempted to run off but was caught by police and was aggressive.

He was again taken to hospital and kicked and head-butted the inside of a cell van where he also spat.

The vehicle had to be taken off the road to be deep-cleaned at a cost of £139 before it could be used again for “the busy 12th of July period,” a prosecutor said.

Defence solicitor Sam Barr said the defendant had “issues” and “found solace” in alcohol and, at times, illicit substances.

Regarding the incidents before the court the lawyer said the defendant had been intoxicated and had no memory of what happened but was embarrassed and wished to apologise.

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