Northern Ireland news

Badly injured patient who attacked police after being taken to hospital is jailed

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard David Weir (38) tried to head-butt and swung a chair at officers

A badly injured patient who attacked police after being taken to hospital has been jailed for five months.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard David Weir (38) tried to head-butt and swung a chair at officers during an outburst of violence.

Nursing staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast were forced to leave the scene last month due to his level of aggression.

Weir, of no fixed abode, was convicted of disorderly behaviour and assaults on police.

Police had convinced him to attend hospital on August 7 after he was discovered with a serious head injury at Garmoyle Street in the city.

On arrival he initially ran off, but was then located on the Grosvenor Road and brought inside for treatment.

A prosecution lawyer said: "At the hospital he became extremely aggressive, lifting a chair and swinging it towards police".

Weir continued to shout and swear at officers, gesturing to punch and head-butt them in the face.

He was taken to the ground and restrained, but kicked out at a constable and knocked off his body-worn camera equipment.

At one point he also tried to spit on one of the officers, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Eoghan McKenna acknowledged that police, ambulance and medical staff had all shown his client "compassion and patience".

"It appears that Mr Weir became more distressed and, horrifically, took his frustrations out on all those in the hospital," he said.

Mr McKenna disclosed that the defendant's injury involved a detached retina.

"It was very fortunate that he didn't lose the sight in one eye - it's still in the balance," he added.

Imposing five months imprisonment, District Judge George Conner declared: "A custodial sentence is inevitable".

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Northern Ireland news