'˜Overdose' woman taunted elderly hospital patient: '˜You're already dead'

A woman who used disorderly behaviour at Antrim Area Hospital and told an elderly patient 'you're already dead' has been granted bail to appeal her sentence.

Wednesday, 10th February 2016, 2:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 6:50 am

Leslie Ann Stewart (25), of Taylorstown Road, Toomebridge, had been sentenced to a total of five months’ imprisonment for offences committed at Antrim Area Hospital on December 13 last year.

Antrim Magistrates Court heard that Stewart had been taken to hospital following a suspected overdose.

On arrival at hospital, she was disruptive, shouting and swearing at staff.

Prosecutor Andrew Houston said Stewart called staff and patients a “pack of bitches” and “stupid f****** bitches” and other obscenitites.

He said Stewart then turned to an elderly patient and said to them: “You’re already dead.”

Stewart also threw a punch at a paramedic and scratched the back of his hand, breaking the skin.

Defence said alcohol misuse was a contributory factor and admitted that the fact Stewart was in breach of a suspended sentence, combined with the location of the incident were not easy to mitigate.

Defence added that the incident came at a “particularly low point” for Stewart.

“She had consumed alcohol for the first time in a number of weeks,” defence said.

He added: “This was excarbated by the overdose.

“This was an attempt to do herself serious harm.

“She lashed out at the very people who were trying to help her.

“This was a classic cry for help.”

District Judge Alan White said he took a “very serious view” about offences committed in hospital.

Mr White said such actions made “the lives of staff a misery and added to the stress of patients”.

He said Stewart’s actions were “atrocious” particularly in light of her being under a suspended sentence.

“I have given you a chance in the past and you chose not to take it,” Mr White said.

Stewart was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment for disorderly behaviour, and five months’ imprisonment for assault, with the sentences to run concurrently.

He also put into operation Stewart’s suspended sentence to run concurrently.

Stewart’s solicitor later advised that his client wished to seek bail to appeal the sentences, which Mr White granted.