Man withdraws appeal and gets three months jail term for biting hospital doctor on finger

Antrim Area Hospital

A man who bit a hospital doctor on the finger has been given a three months jail sentence after withdrawing an appeal against the original sentence.

When originally sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates Court recently a judge said a clear message had to be sent out that patients receiving medical attention must behave themselves.

Gareth Davis (28), of Smithfield Place in Ballymena, had gone to Antrim Area Hospital in February this year, Ballymena Magistrates Court had heard.

Davis had assaulted his mother. It was alleged she was pulled by the hair and had reading glasses broken.

He later attended hospital.

He was aggressive at the hospital and was trying to bite police officers and medical staff and did then bite a female doctor on a finger.

When interviewed, Davis said he had little recollection of what happened.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said the defendant was genuinely remorseful for what happened.

The lawyer said it had been “disgraceful behaviour” but although the incidents were “nasty” he said thankfully no “serious” injuries were sustained.

The court heard Davis lived with his grandmother and was in a “much better” state of mental and physical health.

The defendant had previously pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting the doctor occasioning her actual bodily harm; being disorderly at the hospital and attempted criminal damage of a medical trolley.

He also admitted assaulting his mother and causing damage to her reading glasses.

District Judge Nigel Broderick had said courts had consistently warned that they take a “very poor attitude” towards people causing disturbances and assaulting medics in hospitals.

He told the defendant: “You have bitten the finger of a doctor who was only doing their best to treat you”.

Judge Broderick said he had to send out a clear message that patients attending hospitals had to “behave themselves” and not assault staff.

He jailed Davis for three months but the defendant was released on the sum of £500 pending appeal of the sentence.

The appeal was listed for Monday at the County Court in Coleraine but the Courts Service confirmed to ‘Ballymena Daily’ today that the appeal was withdrawn and the three months prison term was affirmed.

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