A Lurgan teenager who was disorderly in Craigavon Area Hospital, after being conveyed due to his demeanour following arrest for assaulting his father, has been sentenced to 120 hours community service.
The deputy district judge told the 18-year-old: “Custody is the starting point in this case. Only your clear record and a positive probation report stated that you can control your behaviour has made me consider community service as an alternative to custody.”
Jamie Wright, of Demesne Avenue, appeared for sentencing on common assault, possession of Class B, possession of Class A and disorderly behaviour at Craigavon Magistrates, sitting at Lisburn, on Wednesday, via videolink from his solicitor’s officer.
Prosecution outlined that on February 8, police were tasked to a report of an assault on Union Street in Lurgan.
Upon arrival, officers observed a father struggling to control his son, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Police spoke to the father who identified his son as the defendant and stated that he had kicked off.
It was observed by officers that Wright was highly intoxicated, was foaming at the mouth, was acting erratically and had dilated pupils.
The defendant was cautioned making no reply and was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital as a result of his demeanor.
Whilst there, a search was conducted of Wright during which police located a red tin containing herbal cannabis and a pregabalin tablet.
The defendant continually shouted and swore at hospital staff and police, mainly stating “F*** off”, which resulted in his further being arrested for disorderly behaviour.
He was subsequently taken to Banbridge Custody Suite, and during a further search police located another quantity of herbal cannabis in his right trouser pocket.
When interviewed, Wright initially claimed to have only consumed vodka, but he later admitted to having “smoked weed” earlier that day but stated this would not have affected him regarding his behaviour with his father.
The defendant would not say where he had got the substance but claimed to have paid £20 for it. With regards the pregabalin he told police that it was not his and that he was holding it for a friend.
Defence solicitor Paul Sweeney stated: “This is obviously a very unfortunate incident. He consumed so much alcohol that his friends, who were worried about him, contacted his father.
“They had a bit of a row and the police were called, that then escalated when he was taken to the hospital with the abuse of staff. That was obviously the worst of the offending.”
He continued: “He has absolutely no memory of the incident. He is ashamed by the abuse and can’t believe his behaviour. He has not taken vodka since, he was 18 at the time. He is due to turn 19 in the coming weeks and has since reconciled with his father.
“He has been living and working with his father since. I would ask your worship to treat this as an aberration. He holds up his hand and has no excuse for his behaviour.”
Deputy District Judge Alan White stated: “The events in the hospital are the most serious. There are a lot of people in accident and emergency awaiting treatment. Behaviour such as this delays treatment and prejudices the treatment of others.
“Custody is the starting point in this case. Only your clear record and a positive probation report stated that you can control you behaviour has made me consider community service as an alternative to custody.”
Wright was sentenced to 120 hours of community service for the offences.