RVH patient who assaulted policeman spared jail

A disorderly hospital patient who assaulted a policeman and made an obscene gesture has been ordered to serve 18 months probation.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 4:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 4:41 pm
The outburst happened at the RVH last December
The outburst happened at the RVH last December

Aadhan Goodwin was told he was only being spared a prison sentence for lashing out at the officer and shouting abuse due to his mental health issues.

The 20-year-old, of Milford Street in Belfast, was arrested over his outburst at the city’s Royal Victoria Hospital last December.

Police had been called after he became aggressive while being treated on a ward.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he then kicked out at and tried to bite an officer.

After being restrained and warned about his behaviour Goodwin became abusive and said he was going to bite a nose off, according to the prosecution.

He then made a masturbation-type gesture to officers.

Goodwin pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour, assault on police, and indecent behaviour.

Defence counsel stressed his client’s behaviour was not directed at hospital workers.

However, he accepted: “The fact that other patients and staff as well as police officers were forced to deal with this is a serious matter.”

District Judge Fiona Bagnall insisted doctors and nurses should not have to deal with such incidents.

“My normal starting point, looking at behaviour like this in an A&E department in hospital, is custody,” she said.

But acknowledging Goodwin’s early plea of guilt, she added: “The only issue that causes me to hesitate is there is a significant mental health problem here which is being addressed, and this is a 20-year-old person.”

Instead, the judge decided to impose 18 months probation to allow ongoing work to continue.

She warned: “If he’s back (in court) and doesn’t take this opportunity he’s not going to get it again.”