A 47-year-old man whose threatening behaviour towards hospital staff was described as disgraceful and abhorrent in December 2019 has been sober for more than a year and has turned his life around.
Judge Olann Kelleher had adjourned sentencing of Anthony White to see how he would progress.
At Cork District Court, a report from a clinical psychologist confirmed he had maintained sobriety for well over a year and had secured accommodation and improved life skills in terms of paying bills and so forth. He has also been staying away from trigger situations which had caused him to resort to alcohol in the past.
The judge was also told White was also making a huge effort to make sure his behaviour towards others was not aggressive.
Judge Kelleher concluded from the psychologist’s evidence that the accused man had turned a corner In those circumstances, the judge imposed a three-month sentence suspended on condition the accused would keep the peace for the next two years.
“If you have another offence, all the good work you have done will go to waste,” Judge Kelleher said.
When the case first came before the court in July, the judge remarked, “Of all the people you were threatening towards, you behaved in this way with the people who were trying to help you.”
Defence solicitor, Eddie Burke, said the accused man – Anthony White, who is from Ennis, Co Clare, and now living with Cork Simon Community in Cork, through whom more permanent accommodation was organised – was disgusted with his own behaviour.
Mr Burke said the accused man was all the more disappointed to be informed of the details of his own drunken behaviour as he has relatives who work in hospitals.
“He was an army man and left 17 years ago. He has numerous serious health difficulties. He has not taken a drink for over a year,” Mr Burke said.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said the public order incident occurred on December 12, 2019, at the Accident and Emergency unit of Mercy University hospital.
Anthony White was drinking vodka and was directed to leave the area by gardaí. He did so but returned a short time later when he was abusive to hospital staff and to gardaí.
He pleaded guilty to being threatening and abusive and being drunk and a danger – charges for which he had numerous previous convictions.
Judge Olann Kelleher said in July: “It is absolutely disgraceful and abhorrent that he would behave in this way with people who are trying to help him.”