A man who punched a hospital porter whilst on drugs, leaving him with a chipped tooth, has been jailed for two months.
The district judge told the 24-year-old: “You chose to drink too much, you choose to take unprescribed drugs. It is not the choice of hospital staff to be assaulted.”
Sean Fitzpatrick, of Pinebanks, Coalisland, appeared for sentencing on disorderly behaviour and common assault at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Prosecution outlined that on February 26, the defendant was in the A&E department of Craigavon Area Hospital where he began shouting and throwing furniture about.
Fitzpatrick was approached by two porters who were told to ask him to leave them premises.
The defendant told one of them he would punch them before striking the other, leaving him with a chipped tooth.
Fitzpatrick had to be sedated and restrained as he was believed to be under the influence of drugs.
Once the sedative wore off, the defendant was taken to the police station.
During interview, Fitzpatrick made no comment and was shown the CCTV which replayed the facts outlined.
Defence barrister Joel Lindsay stated: “Mr Fitzpatrick is disgusted by his own behaviour. He instructs that he had been doing well in life but his mental health deteriorated and he turned to drugs.
“He says he has ultimate respect for hospitals and those who work there. He has begun attending with community addictions and has spoken with his GP.”
He added: “He has worked in many jobs since and is trying to make an effort to work his life out. He has also brought £50 which was the amount regarding the dental work which had to be carried out.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Mr Fitzpatrick, you had the opportunity of viewing this CCTV, something I haven’t.
“Could you imagine going into work everyday with your first thought being will I be hit today, when am I going to be assaulted, what will I be hit with today? That’s how people who work in hospitals feel because of people like you.”
She continued: “You chose to drink too much, you choose to take unprescribed drugs. It is not the choice of hospital staff to be assaulted.”
Fitzpatrick was sentenced to two months in prison and ordered to pay compensation of £50 to the injured party.
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