Patient who ‘lost the plot’ at hospital avoids prison

A hospital patient who videoed a nurse and threatened to follow her home was given a suspended eight-month jail term yesterday on serious assault charges after evidence that he had successfully attended for treatment for his problems.

Patient who ‘lost the plot’ at hospital avoids prison

By Liam Heylin

A hospital patient who videoed a nurse and threatened to follow her home was given a suspended eight-month jail term yesterday on serious assault charges after evidence that he had successfully attended for treatment for his problems.

Liam McGowan, of 138 Meadowbrook, Craigavon, Co Armagh, was warned by Judge Olann Kelleher at Cork District Court that if he got into any further trouble anywhere in the Republic of Ireland in the next two years, he would end up getting the eight months in jail.

It was a very serious assault but he did go and get treatment as required, the judge added.

Donal Daly, defence solicitor, said McGowan had come down from the North on several occasions to attend court in Cork.

Evidence was previously given of the 33-year-old man “losing the plot”, assaulting security staff by spraying a fire extinguisher at them and pulling a tube from his arm and threatening other nurses with blood.

Mr Daly said the accused had completed an alcohol treatment programme.

Inspector John Deasy previously stated, that apart from alcohol, one of the contributing factors for the accused man “losing the plot” on the night was alleged to have been the fact that he had been submerged upside down under water earlier that day as part of a training exercise for working on an oil rig.

Mr Daly said it was a highly unusual case where the defendant had no previous convictions and was clearly not himself on the occasion.

A fire extinguisher was sprayed at three security guards during a scene of violence and mayhem at Cork University Hospital.

McGowan pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to charges of assault causing harm to three security men at the emergency department of CUH on November 5, 2017. They were responding to reports from nurses, including one where it was reported that McGowan had videoed and threatened her.

The defendant admitted causing criminal damage at the emergency unit where he smashed a glass panel in a door and set off a fire extinguisher, which he then sprayed into the faces of three security officers who were trying to restore order and protect patients.

Injuries sustained by the three security men included damage to their eyes as a result of being sprayed into the face with a fire extinguisher. They were also close to the scene when McGowan smashed the glass panel.

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