Brothers escape jail after '˜appalling' verbal abuse of A&E staff

Two brothers have avoided prison for subjecting female medical staff at a Belfast hospital to 'appalling' verbal abuse.

Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 4:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 4:29 pm

Sean and Liam McAuley each received four-month suspended jail terms after being convicted of disorderly behaviour within the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The pair, aged 32 and 24, were arrested over an incident at the accident and emergency department in the early hours of February 12.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard police called to the ward were told staff felt uncomfortable treating one of the brothers because of their behaviour.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A prosecution lawyer said: “A doctor informed police that the males were banging on the doors, demanding treatment and calling both herself and other female nurses f****** sluts.”

Despite being asked by officers to seek treatment elsewhere, both allegedly refused to leave the hospital.

They were then detained after ignoring warnings about continued shouting and swearing, the court heard.

According to the prosecution Sean McAuley, of Farringdon Court in Belfast, then stated: “Yeah, I swore and slabbered at the doctor, but so what? She made snide remarks to me and my brother.”

Together with Liam McAuley, from Regent Street in the city, he continues to deny the disorderly behaviour charge.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Toner confirmed both men plan to appeal their conviction.

But District Judge Fiona Bagnall told him: “On the basis of the finding of the court this is an appalling situation where staff were subjected to that type of verbal abuse and felt threatened.”

Sentencing the brothers to four months in custody each, she suspended the terms for 18 months.