Lisburn man jailed for punching doctor

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A Lisburn man who punched a hospital doctor in the groin has been jailed for five months.

On Monday the city’s Magistrates Court heard how police were called to the A&E department at Lagan Valley Hospital on July 25 this year because 21-year-old Curtis Neill was “causing a disturbance.”

As well as damaging gates at the hospital, Neill “pushed a doctor and punched him in the groin,” a prosecuting lawyer told the court.

Neill, from Graham Place, was arrested and interviewed and although he claimed he could not remember the incident, he later pleaded guilty to charges of common assault and criminal damage.

Defence barrister Peter Coiley conceded that immaterial of Neill’s reasons for attending the hospital that evening, his behaviour was “simply unacceptable and deplorable” and had resulted in “very grave charges.”

The lawyer submitted however that Neill should be given credit for his guilty pleas.

Jailing Neill for five months and imposing a £25 offender levy, District Judge Rosie Watters told Neill, who appeared via videolink from Maghaberry Prison, that “courts take a very dim view” of such assaults.

“It’s all too common people assaulting members of the health care profession, in casualty departments in particular,” she said.