Spat in face of police woman at hospital

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A Ballymena man who spat in the face of a police woman at Antrim Area Hospital, where he had been taken after being unconscious, has been ordered to do 75 hours of unpaid work for the “disgusting” attack.

Geoffrey Dunlop (21), of Lanntara, was being transferred to a private room at the hospital when the spit incident happened on December 12 last year.

The defendant previously pleaded guilty to a charge of assault on police.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police received a report of an “ongoing disturbance” at an address in the Ballee area and after “concerns for the well-being” of Dunlop, he was taken to Antrim Hospital.

He was being transferred to a private room when he drew his head back and spat into the police woman’s face and claimed he had been “aiming” for someone else.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said Dunlop had offered a sincere apology and had said he was “not like that”. The lawyer said it did appear to be a “one-off”.

Mr Ballentine said there had been an incident at the defendant’s “step-grandmother’s house” and after he became unconscious he was taken to hospital.

When he came round in the hospital he was “agitated” as he “couldn’t understand why police were there,” and the spitting was a reaction to that, said Mr Ballentine.

Judge Broderick told the defendant: “What you did was a disgusting thing, however, you appear to have expressed genuine remorse”.

The judge told Dunlop he could “make some reparation for what you did” by doing 75 hours of unpaid work.