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Judge slams woman’s ‘unacceptable’ behaviour in Craigavon hospital

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A Lurgan woman charged with disorderly behaviour at Craigavon Area Hospital has made a judge rethink her sentencing over offences which are carried out in such places.

District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “I have been here two years and I tell everyone you can’t behave like this in a hospital but they take no heed.”

Chloe O’Hanlon, 19, of Lurgan Tarry, appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The nineteen-year-old was charged with disorderly behaviour, assault on police and resisting arrest.

Court heard that on February 1, at around 10.20am, police were called to a disturbance at Sandy Row, in Gilford.

When officers arrived they found O’Hanlon being restrained by her father on the ground before the two were separated by police.

O’Hanlon was spoken to by officers who noted her behaviour as erratic, changing from calm to agitated.

The defendant’s eyes bloodshot but police did not detect any smell of alcohol.

She then began to scream at police and threw a roll of carpet, which had been inside the house, at an officer’s shin.

When cautioned O’Hanlon made no reply but resisted arrest, kicking out, and continuing to shout.

The defendant was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital at around 11.20am for a medical assessment and whilst there she shouted in the waiting room which included expletive-ridden outbursts.

O’Hanlon was then arrested and transferred to Lurgan custody suite by officers.

Defence solicitor Conor Downey told Judge Kelly he had outlined to his defendant the judge’s “zero tolerance to this sort of behaviour in a hospital”, adding that O’Hanlon fully accepted that it was “unacceptable”.

Judge Kelly stated: “I have been here two years and I tell everyone you can’t behave like this in a hospital but they take no heed”.

She added: “I am changing my sentencing for such offences, it will be immediate custody for anyone who so much as looks sideways in Craigavon Area Hospital or its grounds”.

She also asked the defendant “did you know the staff had to move patients from A&E because of your behaviour?”

O’Hanlon was given credit for her early plea and relatively clear record as she was handed a combination order.

This would mean she would have to complete 80 hours of community service and attend an anger management course for the next 12 months.

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