Abusive patient told Antrim Hospital staff 'Go back to your own country, you're in Ireland now'

Abusive patient told Antrim Hospital staff 'Go back to your own country, you're in Ireland now'

A PATIENT received treatment at Antrim Area Hospital and then shouted at staff to "go back to your own country" before adding: "You're in Ireland now".

Ashley Dallas (35), of Stewart Avenue in Cookstown, admitted being disorderly at the hospital in relation to February 7 this year.

A prosecutor said it was a "racial hate crime".

She said police were at the hospital for an unrelated matter when staff asked them for assistance at the Emergency Department where the defendant was "causing a disturbance".

Dallas had "finished treatment" and was asked to leave but whilst gathering his belongings he was shouting at nursing staff who, according to the prosecutor, he "perceived to be from another country".

The prosecutor said Dallas was shouting 'Go back to your own country' and 'you're in Ireland now boy'.

Police escorted him outside to an ambulance bay and in the presence of members of the public and hospital and ambulance staff he began shouting about "ripping a police officer's head off".

When charged the defendant said if police released him that night he would "kill himself," the prosecutor said.

A defence barrister said the defendant had been at the hospital in relation to "attempted suicide" and the behaviour towards staff had been "completely unacceptable".

After being arrested, the lawyer said, Dallas had "apologised profusely".

The barrister said the incident happened at a time when the defendant's mental health had been "fragile" .

The lawyer said Dallas appeared at court via a sightlink from his home because he is "housebound" where he is under "constant supervision" from his mother in case of further self-harm attempts.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Ballymena Magistrates Court that normally for such incidents he would send defendants straight to prison but due to the "mental health status" of Dallas he was handing down a five months prison term, suspended for a year.

The judge said he had increased the term to five months as he found the incident had been "aggravated by reason of hostility".

  • Main picture: File image of Antrim Area Hospital.