Patient ‘kicked doctor, spat blood at police, then claimed he had coronavirus’

A patient allegedly kicked a doctor in the chest and spat blood over a policeman’s face before claiming to have Covid-19, a court heard.

Tha alleged offences happened at Antrim Area Hospital
Tha alleged offences happened at Antrim Area Hospital

Ryan Hagan, 35, is also accused of attacking other officers and ripping down curtains during a suspected drug-fuelled violent outburst at Antrim Area Hospital.

A defence lawyer described his alleged behaviour after being admitted on Tuesday as “completely deplorable”.

Hagan, of Queens Park in Newtownabbey, appeared at Antrim Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Belfast, on a total of 12 charges.

He faces counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, three assaults on police, threatening to kill an officer and assaulting the doctor.

Further charges include disorderly behaviour, three counts of damaging a police officer’s uniform, and criminal damage to a PSNI cell van.

District Judge George Conner was told Hagan became aggressive after he collapsed and was brought to hospital.

He damaged a bed on the ward, kicked the doctor in his chest and struck a policeman on the face, it was claimed.

Opposing bail, a PSNI officer said: “He then spat blood all over the constable’s face.”

Hagan followed that by allegedly attempting to head-butt the policeman and ignoring warnings about swearing.

“He stated that he had Covid-19 while attempting to spit on all the officers present,” the police representative claimed.

She contended that the violence continued after he was arrested, with blood and saliva spat over the cell van.

Hagan also allegedly kicked out at another officer, spitting blood on his trousers, while in custody.

Throughout the incident he made a number of comments about killing police, the court heard.

During interviews he claimed to remember nothing about what happened due to being under the influence of “blues”.

But police argued that he showed no remorse when his behaviour was put to him.

“He damaged a hospital bed and tore the curtain rails down when he was being triaged,” the PSNI officer said.

Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott reiterated his client has no recollection due to his issues with alcohol and drug addiction.

However, the lawyer acknowledged: “It’s an appalling scenario in any circumstances, but in the current climate it’s particularly appalling.”

Despite stressing Hagan has since tested negative for Covid-19, Mr MacDermott added: “The behaviour (was) completely deplorable.”

Hagan was granted bail under conditions including a ban on contacting the doctor or entering Antrim Area Hospital unless admitted as a patient.

Mr Conner stated: “The description of this is a vile set of alleged facts, and one he should be greatly ashamed of.”