Tyrone man was ‘shouting and disruptive’ in hospital A&E
A County Tyrone welder who was shouting and disruptive in the A&E department of Craigavon Area Hospital, has been given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.
Paul Joseph Hughes (26), of Gortgonis Terrace, Coalisland, was also fined a total of £315 and banned from driving for 18 months.
Hughes admitted driving with excess alcohol, aggravated taking car without consent; disorderly behaviour; having no insurance and no licence arising out of the incident on March 20.
He was also given a three month suspended jail term for resisting police at Coalisland on September 12, 2019.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan told Hughes at East Tyrone Magistrates, sitting in Dungannon, on Friday that his behaviour in the hospital setting had been “very bad”.
Suspending the jail sentences, he told Hughes he was “a lucky man” not to have received an immediate custodial sentence. However, the judge warned that if he reoffended within the next two years he would serve the eight months along with whatever other sentence he received.
The court heard police were tasked to a single vehicle collision on March 20 at 9am on the Moor Road-Washingbay Road area of Coalisland, following a report from a member of the public of seeing a car “swerving all over the road” before crashing.
Counsel prosecuting said Hughes had gone to a local shop and asked for water saying that he had been in a road accident before returning to the vehicle.
When police arrived they observed a male sitting in the driving seat of the car which was facing the wrong direction, the lawyer continued.
She said Hughes told police he had been test driving the car and was carrying out a mechanical test and crashed.
Counsel said the defendant provided a breath specimen which showed an alcohol reading of 101mgs.
She said the defendant complained of back and leg pain and while being taken to hospital became aggressive and was swearing at police and attempted to pull the handbrake while the vehicle was travelling at 70mph on the MI.
Counsel said he continued shouting and being disruptive while in the A&E department at Craigavon Hospital in front of members of the public.
Recalling the incident of September 12, 2019, counsel said police were called to Canal Place in Coalisland to deal with another matter when they saw the defendant who was wanted for other matters.
Defence lawyer Craig Patton said while the defendant’s record is bad he has come back with a glowing reference from his employer. He said Hughes is working seven days a week with a team of welders and this appears to have given him some stability.
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.