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Armagh ‘drug addict’ who bit member of hospital staff jailed for six months

Police PSNI Emergency Craigavon Hospital

An Armagh man who bit a member of hospital staff and assaulted police has been sentenced to six months in prison.

In handing down the sentence to the 28-year-old, the judge commented: “He is a drug addict and he bit another person breaking the skin, has he any idea how serious that is?”

Ronan Patrick Hamilton, of Linen Court, appeared for sentencing on two counts of possession of Class B, common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of assault on police and disorderly behaviour at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on July 12, at around 4pm, the injured party was at the Spar filling station on the Lough Road, Lurgan.

He was approached by Hamilton who tapped the driver side window before grabbing the male by the neck and threatening to punch him.

Police arrived a short time later and suspected the defendant to be under the influence of drugs.

During a search officers located cannabis in Hamilton’s trousers.

Due to the defendant’s level of intoxication, and the fact he was crying saying he was going to kill himself, police detained him under the Mental Health Act.

Hamilton was conveyed to Craigavon Area Hospital, and whilst there he is accused of pushing his chair back pinning an officer to a wall.

As police tried to restrain him he continued to push the chair, kicking and punching out.

Extra assistance had to be called as Hamilton continued to act aggressively.

It was heard the defendant also bit a member of hospital staff breaking their skin.

Limb restraints had to be applied, and as Hamilton was secured to a bed he tried to bite and spit at officers.

Defence barrister Conor Coulter stated: “This was a plea at the earliest opportunity; he currently has a release date [from prison] of November 29”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “He is a drug addict and he bit another person breaking the skin, has he any idea how serious that is?”

Mr Coulter commented: “Mr Hamilton is very apologetic, he is a young man who has benefited from the emergency services of numerous occasions given his problems with alcohol.”

Hamilton was sentenced to six months in prison for the offences.

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