RVH assault accused remanded in custody due to reoffending risk

Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast
Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast

A Bangor man who assaulted two security guards at the Royal Victoria Hospital was refused bail on Saturday amid fears that he would reoffend.

Remanding 22-year-old Ryan Clarke into custody at Belfast Magistrates Court, District Judge George Conner said “there’s just too high a risk of reoffending” which prompted Clarke to react angrily, shouting how two of his fingers were broken by “scumbags” during the incident.

Clarke, from the Belfast Road in Bangor is charged with two counts of assault on March 25 this year.

The offences are alleged to have occurred exactly a week since Clarke escaped jail when he was handed a suspended jail term for breaking a fireman’s leg.

Giving evidence to the court Constable Miney said he believed he could connect Clarke to the offences and described how two security guards had been escorting Clarke from the RVH AT 4.20am when he attacked them.

Outlining how his was the fourth incident at the hospital in as many weeks, the officer claimed Clarke head-butted one guard and then as the guards tried to put him to the ground, Clarke allegedly gouged his finger into the left eye of the other guard.

Eventually Clarke was restrained until police arrived and arrested him.

After he was cautioned, Clarke told police, “I’m in the Russian Italian mafia,” said Constable Miney adding that as well as the numerous alleged recent incidents at the RVH, Clarke was also subject to a suspended sentence.

That 18 month suspended sentence, imposed at Belfast Crown Court eight days ago, came after Clarke admitted attacking a fireman outside the Tescos store on the Dublin Road on September 3, 2014.

The court heard that while Clarke’s co-accused attacked the fireman first, Clarke joined in after the victim fell to the ground and fractured his leg.

In court today (Sat) Clarke’s solicitor submitted that he could be granted bail but barred from gong to the RVH, claiming that he suffered from “mental health problems.”

Remanding Clarke into custody to appear again on 5 April, Judge Conner said he had no doubt “he got a firm warning” about reoffending from the Crown Court judge.