Patient who tried to bite hospital security guard spared jail

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A Belfast man who tried to bite a hospital security guard after being treated for a serious head injury has avoided imprisonment.

Patrick Quinn, 33, was handed a three-month suspended prison sentence for the assault at the Mater Hospital in the north of the city.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he had been found slumped outside the BBC building in the early hours of April 9.

Prosecutors said Quinn, from Antrim Close, had a large cut to the forehead and had a quantity of herbal cannabis on him.

On being taken to hospital he became aggressive after verbally abusing staff.

A Crown lawyer said: “He lunged at a security guard and attempted to bite his hand before being restrained.”

Quinn was also dealt with for harassing his ex-partner by sending her 141 text messages over a four-day period in April.

Defence counsel argued that most of the communication was to do with their child.

He also stressed Quinn has no memory of the assault, due to his state of intoxication and head injury with anticipated long-term consequences.

It was contended that the attempted bite was nothing more than a lunge.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall held that the attack “crossed the custody threshold”, but decided to suspend the three month-term jail term for two years.

She also imposed the same sentence for the harassment, and fined Quinn £150 for possessing cannabis.