A Keady man who was abusive to police and hospital staff after he was taken there over concerns for his wellbeing has been handed a suspended sentence.
Court heard that police took the 61-year-old to Craigavon Area Hospital after he made calls in which he threatened to self-harm.
Patrick Joseph McWilliams, of Railway Crescent, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Court heard that on August 5, at around 2am, police attended the home of the defendant after he made a call threatening to self-harm.
When officers arrived, they noted McWilliams appeared intoxicated and emotional.
The defendant was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital due to concerns regarding his wellbeing.
Whilst in the waiting room McWilliams began acting disorderly. He shouted and swore.
This continued despite him being warned by police and staff.
Court heard the defendant referred to the police as “c****” and told one nurse “shut your mouth”.
McWilliams was cautioned for this and replied “that’s okay”.
He then attempted to leave the hospital and had to be detained under the mental health act at around 6am.
The defendant was interviewed about the offence on August 17.
McWilliams put his behaviour down to his mental health and his intoxication.
He claimed he could not remember the incident.
Defence barrister Conn O’Neill stated: “Mr McWilliams is very grateful for the intervention by the police.
“Given the origins of how he ended up in the hospital, he was arrested under the mental health act.”
He said: “Mr McWilliams has moved on to address his alcohol and mental health problems.
“This is a man with a litany of physical difficulties who has found himself completely isolated.”
Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer commented: “He describes himself to probation as a chronic alcoholic for 20 years.
“You can’t just stop being an alcoholic through sheer will power.”
He stated: “I note the circumstance that what led you to be in Craigavon Area Hospital was your phone call to police and their view that you were unable to cope.
“You were abusive to police and one nurse, there were also two other patients who would have found your behaviour upsetting.”
Deputy District Judge Mateer added: “You also urinated in the corner of a bathroom and said that was a great p*ss as you left.
“I will take into account your physical difficulties and your longstanding problem with alcohol.”
McWilliams was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 18 months.
Become a member
Support local, independent businesses by becoming an independent member.Become a member