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Drunk Co Armagh man punched hospital porter in the eye and bit another

Craigavon Emergency Department

A drunk Co Armagh man punched one hospital porter in the eye and bit another, a court has heard.

Gary Aidan McConaghy, 33, of Downshire Avenue, Lurgan appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday charged with common assault and disorderly behaviour.

The incident occurred on April 7 at around 10.15pm, when police received a call from members of staff at Craigavon Area Hospital.

The report claimed the defendant was heavily intoxicated and aggressive.

They claimed he had become abusive towards staff and punched one porter in the left eye.

Police arrived and noted swelling on the left eye of one of the members of staff.

It was heard that another porter had been bitten by McConaghy as he attempted to restrain the defendant.

When interviewed the following day McConaghy admitted to disorderly behaviour but denied punching the staff member.

Defence solicitor Siún Downey stated the defendant had “issues with alcohol” but was not reaching out for help.

She added that he had a limited record with “most, if not all, being linked to alcohol”.

Ms Downey also stated that McConaghy had asked her to “apologise on his behalf to the hospital staff and police officers”.

Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said: “This offence is inexcusable these are people serving the community day in day out and you get drunk and decide to assault them.”

He added that it had “no redeeming factors” and sentenced McConaghy to four months in prison.

An appeal was lodged by Ms Downey and the defendant was released on his own bail of £150.

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