Derry man sentenced after assaulting hospital staff and police during rampage

A Derry man who assaulted five staff members at Altnagelvin Hospital during a rampage has been jailed for six months.

Gerard Martin McConnell, 59 of Iniscarn Court, Derry pleaded guilty to nine offences including assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, assaulting police and disorderly behaviour.

During the rampage, the 59 year-old punched the ward sister on the arm and head and threw a bottle of alcohol gel in the face of another nurse, he went on to punch another nurse in the face before he was removed from the ward.

As the defendant was in a corridor he punched a hospital porter, busting his lip and causing an injury which required three stitches and attempted to bite another hospital porter and knee him in the face.

As the 59 year-old was being transported by police, the defendant punched a female officer and spat in her face and bit another officer on the arm.

The defendant admitted he lashed out but could not remember why or who he hit.

In passing sentence, Judge Barney McElholm said a psychologists report presented, 'makes it abundantly clear this man's mental health issues arise from one fact, that is his abuse of alcohol and his steadfast refusal to admit he has a problem'.

Judge McElholm said the defendant had assaulted nurses, hospital porters and police officers in 'quite an appalling way' and only an immediate custodial sentence would be appropriate.
Derry Magistrate's Court heard 59-year-old Gerard Martin McConnell was in Altnagelvin Hospital when he became 'irate' as he was being assessed.