Used a paper clip as a weapon in hospital

Archive image.
Archive image.

A 23-year-old man who used a paper clip as a weapon in an incident at Craigavon Area Hospital has been given a prison sentence.

Robert Cochrane, whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, appeared by way of videolink from the prison last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He did not have a solicitor and he waived his right to a pre-sentence report indicating that he wanted to plead guilty to the three charges he was facing.

These were disorderly behaviour at the hospital on August 26 last year, criminal damage to a gel dispenser and possession of an offensive weapon, a paperclip.

The court heard that police were tasked to Craigavon Area Hospital where the defendant was shouting and swearing at members of staff.

Cochrane lifted a large metal paperclip and threatened staff who were in fear because of his behaviour.

The defendant also knocked a gel dispenser off a wall, causing damage worth £14.70.

Cochrane told the court he was a serving prisoner but did not know his release date.

District Judge Steven Keown said this was a serious matter because it related to an incident in a hospital which the court could not tolerate.

He pointed out that on Cochrane’s record he had received a three month sentence on January 9.

Imposing a one month sentence, with the terms to run concurrently, on each of three charges the judge also ordered him to pay £14.70 restitution, giving him 16 weeks to pay the amount.

He also ordered the defendant to pay a £25 offender’s levy.