A drunk patient who threw a bowl of his own vomit over a nurse trying to treat him at Coleraine’s Causeway Hospital has been jailed for four months.
Gavin Logue, 35, a joiner, with an address at the Simon Community in Coleraine’s Lodge Road, appeared at the town’s magistrates’ court yesterday via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he had been on remand for six weeks.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting a female and being disorderly at the Causeway Hospital and also admitted being disorderly at Coleraine Road in Portstewart.
The incidents happened on February 7 and February 8, with February 7 being the defendant’s birthday.
A prosecutor said police received a report of two males being disruptive at a Spar shop in Portstewart when they were knocking items from shelves.
Logue was taken to hospital because he was intoxicated and had minor injuries.
He was abusive towards police officers and medical staff attempting to treat him, and was shouting and swearing.
The prosecutor said the defendant then “threw a bowl containing his own vomit at a nurse, striking her and causing the vomit to go on her body and leg”.
Defence barrister Thomas McKeever said, in sobriety, his client accepted it was an “unsavoury and disgusting act”.
When sober, the lawyer said his client was “a decent individual”.
He said Logue had become intoxicated to a high level when he committed the offence and had “no memory of this incident”.
Mr McKeever said the defendant was in breach of two suspended sentences.
District Judge Peter King said the custody threshold was “well and truly crossed”.
The judge said there were a number of aggravating features in the case including it taking place in a hospital.
He told Logue: “The victim is an NHS staff member who was in the process of trying to treat you.”
The judge told Logue drink was at the centre of his offending and he had amassed 36 convictions since 2005.
Jailing him, Judge King added: “NHS staff will always be protected by this court even if we have to resort to prison to do that.”