A patient who yelled a “racial slur” at a nurse at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine was, on Friday, given a suspended jail sentence.
Louise Craig (18), of Castlehill Close, Ballymoney, County Antrim, had been detained in the custody suite at a police station and was then escorted to the hospital by officers who were concerned for her well-being.
After midnight on July 1 this year she was “extremely abusive and violent” at the hospital and was “screaming loud expletives”.
Craig then referred to a nurse as a “Chinky wee b**tard” and “repeated the racial slur,” a prosecutor said.
The lawyer said the case was being prosecuted on the grounds that it was aggravated by hostility.
When arrested the defendant told police: “I’m going to Hydebank (prison) anyway, I don’t give a f*ck.”
Craig pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly behaviour arising out of the hospital incident.
Defence barrister Michael Smyth said Craig had already spent two weeks in custody.
Craig also admitted other charges relating to other dates including being disorderly at the same hospital; two assaults including on a female police officer; causing criminal damage when she “ransacked” a a room at one of the Simon Community hostels in Coleraine; and possession of cannabis.
Craig had gone to the Causeway Hospital on June 4 this year where she shouted “foul abuse” at police and hospital staff.
When she was released from hospital and taken to a police station there were concerns she may have been “concealing items” and when searched she struck out.
Defence lawyer Mr Smyth said the incidents happened at a time when Craig was not coping with “adjustments” in her life.
He said her behaviour at the hospital was “atrocious”.
District Judge Liam McNally noted there had been no actual physical violence on staff at the hospital but said Craig’s actions there, and the assault on the police officer, merited being sent into custody.
However, he said she had already spent a few weeks behind bars as he handed down a four months sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered her to pay £100 compensation to the police officer.