A Lurgan man who assaulted two female nurses after claiming hallucinations from alcohol withdrawal has been sentenced to two months in prison.
Valerijs Denjanovics, 54, of Dingwell Park, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Upon reading the report District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “He was having hallucinations, what drugs was he taking at the time?”
Defence barrister Ciara Ennis claimed that Denjanovics was suffering from alcohol withdrawal at the time he was in the hospital.
District Judge Kelly disputed this saying: “You don’t start seeing things from having the DT’s.”
Ms Ennis informed the court that the defendant had a long-standing history of alcohol abuse and that his mental health was “fragile”.
She claimed that Denjanovics was now abstaining from alcohol and knew that immediate custody was inevitable.
Court heard that probation had highlighted a number of alternatives.
District Judge Kelly stated: “He has pleaded guilty to assaulting two members of nursing staff who were trying to help him.”
She also questioned how Denjanovics, a man who claimed to have lived in Northern Ireland for 13 years, could not speak a word of English.
The district judge said: “I think that’s impossible, you would at least pick up a few phrases during that time.”
Ms Ennis replied: “I suppose it would depend on what circles you were moving.”
District Judge Kelly stated: “I am aware there is only one other entry in this defendant’s record but when you commit offences as serious as this it does not matter.”
The barrister explained that Denjanovics had resided at the hospital for several days after the offence without committing any other before he was discharged.
District Judge Kelly said: “These are serious offences. The NHS is one of the most revered, if not the most revered, institutions that we have.
“Twenty-four hour a day service for our benefit, regardless of the time of day, in fact, regardless of your stupidity, it is available to you, even if you are a pathetic alcoholic.”
She continued: “I have sent people to prison for being disorderly in a hospital, so when you cross the lane to the assault of two members of nursing staff there is only one penalty I can impose.”
Denjanovics was sentenced to two months in prison.