Northern Ireland news

Diabetic woman 'claimed to be in IRA' during attack on A&E staff, court hears

 A woman told A&E staff she was in the IRA and would get them shot, the High Court has heard

A DIABETIC woman lashed out at accident and emergency staff amid claims she was in the IRA and would get people shot, the High Court was told.

Edel McLaughlin tried to strike a doctor and paramedics as well as attempting to bite a male nurse at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, prosecutors said.

The 38-year-old, of John Street in the city, faces charges of disorderly behaviour, common assault and assaulting an ambulance worker over the violent outburst on April 6.

She was granted bail but banned from entering the hospital’s grounds unless accompanied by police or medical staff.

Mr Justice McAlinden was told McLaughlin has pleaded guilty to the alleged offences.

Police were called to Altnagelvin’s accident and emergency department amid reports McLaughlin was drunk and behaving violently.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said she was shouting and swearing in front of very ill patients and members of the public.

“It included her shouting that she was in the IRA and would get them shot,” counsel said.

It was revealed that McLaughlin is a diabetic who had to spend four days in hospital following the incident.

David Heraghty, defending, described it as a “sad case” involving a client with a long-term alcohol addiction.

Under the terms of McLaughlin’s release on bail, Mr Justice McAlinden also imposed an alcohol prohibition and ordered her to seek an appointment with her GP within 48 hours.

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