Judge claims his sentencing powers are outdated

A District Judge has described his sentencing powers for assaults as 'hopelessly outdated as he jailed a man for three months for two assaults on paramedics and one on a police officer.

Damien Murphy (26) of Knockalla Park in Derry was charged with two assaults, one assault on police and disorderly behaviour that occurred on August 19.
The court heard that police were called to a stabbing incident and found Murphy with a wound to his leg being treated by paramedics. While police were talkimg to another man there was a disturbance from the back of the ambulance and a paramedic said that Murphy had assaulted him.

Police then escorted Murphy to the hospital but he spat at another paramedic. While being treated he continued to be abusive and threw a blood stained blanket at a police officer and punched him on the chin.

A defence solicitor, Mr. Paddy McGurk, said his client had no recollection of what had happened. He said that Murphy had been off drink for a few months but went out to celebrate his girlfriend becoming pregnant.

He said that he could not recall how he came to be stabbed and did not know who he was lashing out at.
District Judge Mr. Barney McElholm said that attacks on medical personnel would not be tolerated.

He said that Murphy had shown no remorse and had even turned up to court on Wednesday drunk and left before he could be sentenced.

Murphy was sentenced to three months in prison.