Man on 20 tablets a day ‘ashamed’ for A&E outburst and blood on cell walls

A man who made several recent attempts at self-harm was on about 20 anti-depression tablets a day, he told a judge at his sentencing hearing yesterday.

Christopher Foley, aged 28, of 6 Fr Dominic Place, Ballyphehane, Cork, pleaded guilty to charges arising of a major disturbance at the accident and emergency department of Cork University Hospital.

He also admitted causing criminal damage at a garda station cell by smearing the walls and mattress with his own blood.

Asked by Judge Olann Kelleher yesterday what tablets he was using, the accused outlined a list of anti-depression and relaxant medication.

“I was on Diazepam, Up Johns 90s, D-10s, Halcyon. I built up a tolerance and it is gone crazy,” he said.

Judge Kelleher asked Foley: “Would you take 10 a day?”

Foley replied: “20, or even more.”

The judge referred to efforts being made by the defendant’s parents to get treatment for him and that he was out in Cork University Hospital causing all of this trouble.

Foley accepted that his behaviour — as described to him by his solicitor Eddie Burke on the basis of the garda file in the case — would have been upsetting for anyone else in the queue on the day.

“I am very sorry. I am ashamed, your honour, I really am. I can’t understand why I done it,” the defendant said.

Asked if he could remember his behaviour, he said he could not.

Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan said gardaí received a report on January 25 of a man causing a major disturbance at Cork University Hospital.

Garda Darren Suffin arrested Christopher Foley at the accident and emergency unit, where he was highly abusive to staff trying to deal with him.

Foley pleaded guilty yesterday to engaging in threatening behaviour and being drunk and a danger at Cork University Hospital. In addition, Foley admitted that on January 25 he damaged a cell at Togher Garda Station by smearing blood over cell walls and a cell mattress.

Mr Burke, solicitor, said the accused wanted — and desperately needed — to get help for his problems and to take up rehabilitation.

Judge Kelleher said he needed to hear of concrete progress in getting on to a rehabilitation programme. Rather than disposing of the case yesterday or granting a long adjournment, he said he would remand the accused on bail until Friday to line up a place on a programme.



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