Northern Ireland news

Woman jailed for racially abusing doctor

A woman who racially abused a hospital doctor trying to treat her has been jailed for four months.

Lisburn Magistrates Court heard that when the doctor called 24-year-old Shauna Quinn to be triaged at Lagan Valley A&E, she shouted out “I won’t be seen by that black b******...I won’t go to that n*****.”

A prosecuting lawyer told the court Quinn was warned about her behaviour but “continued to shout at staff,” adding that she remained in the hospital until police arrived.

At an earlier hearing Quinn, from Aspen Park in Dunmurry, pleaded guilty to a single count of using disorderly behaviour at the hospital on September 26 last year.

Defence solicitor Peter Prenter said while Quinn had been “intoxicated on alcohol and drugs,” he conceded her state “doesn’t excuse” what she did.

Highlighting that Quinn has “under lying mental health problems,” the lawyer said despite her protestations to probation, Quinn would be willing to compete Community Service, suggesting that in the alternative, a suspended jail sentence might be appropriate.

District Judge Rosie Watters told Quinn because “there is nothing positive in the [probation] report” she had no alternative but to jail her.

Revealing that Quinn has a previous conviction for assaulting medical staff as well, the judge declared “you just don’t behave like that,” commenting there appeared to be “a sense of entitlement for someone who had contributed nothing to society.”

“Nobody should behave like that at any hospital and I take a very serious view of it,” said Judge Watters.

On hearing of her jail sentence, Quinn shouted at her solicitor “are you having a laugh, Peter?” She was told off by the judge who said: “How dare you speak to him like that.”

A short time later, Mr Prenter came back into court to ask for Quinn to be freed on bail pending an appeal of the jail sentence, confirming to Judge Watters that Quinn had apologised for her outburst.

Quinn was freed on her own bail of £500.

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