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‘Aggressive’ patient assaulted two police officers at hospital after taking New Year’s Eve overdose

Defendant had told police: 'If I don't see a doctor in two minutes I am going to leave. If you try to stop me I will fight you'

A man who assaulted two police officers who were monitoring him due to his aggression at Daisy Hill Hospital has been handed a suspended sentence.

Court heard the 37-year-old was being treated because of a drug overdose with police being called as he was being aggressive towards staff.

Stephen Joseph Burns, of Mourne Drive, Warrenpoint, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on police at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

It was heard that on December 31, the defendant was a patient at Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry, after being admitted due to a drug overdose.

Officers were in attendance to monitor Burns who had been acting aggressively towards hospital staff.

In the early hours, the defendant told police: “If I don’t see a doctor in two minutes I am going to leave. If you try to stop me I will fight you.”

Burns tried to push past a constable, who pushed him back. He then proceeded to lift a chair and attempt to hit another officer with it.

The defendant was subsequently restrained and cautioned for the offences for which he was before the court.

Defence counsel stated: “Mr Burns suffers from mental health issues. A few days before this his friend was murdered in Warrenpoint and on this day he had tried to take his own life.”

District Judge Eamonn King said: “He was in hospital receiving medical treatment for a drug overdose. He was being monitored by police because of aggression towards hospital staff.

“Then he demands to be seen immediately. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that he would not be in this situation if he didn’t take the drugs in the first place.”

Burns was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 18 months.

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