Northern Ireland news

Man who brought hunting knife into hospital jailed for eight months

Laganside Court in Belfast

AN angry patient who brought a hunting knife into the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast has been jailed for eight months.

Christopher Quigley claimed he was carrying the blade in his bag to go fishing, a judge was told.

The 38-year-old, of Hamill Street in the city, was convicted of disorderly behaviour and possessing a knife in a public place.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard he was taken to the hospital on July 26 this year after being discovered with a suspected fractured skull.

A sheathed hunting knife was found inside his duffle bag after he arrived for treatment.

"The defendant became irate, pressing a call button continuously," a Crown lawyer said.

"He was shouting and swearing, despite being warned that the ward was busy with (other) patients and staff."

She added: "He made full admissions to possessing the hunting knife, however he stated that it was for fishing."

Defence counsel Joel Lyndsay told the court Quigley had been homeless and wandering the streets with the duffle bag when he sustained a serious head injury.

"He certainly wasn't compos mentis," the barrister submitted.

Quigley was also dealt with for breaching a probation order and a separate common assault on his sister in June this year.

According to Mr Lyndsay that incident involved a tussle during a family row.

Referring to his client's addiction issues, counsel said: "It's a Jekyll and Hyde situation - he takes drugs and becomes the Mr Hyde character."

Imposing a total of eight months custody, District Judge Anne Marshall held that Quigley's disorderly behaviour was aggravated by occurring in a hospital.

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