10 Aug 2022

Derry woman with over 30 convictions assaulted doctor, nurse and two paramedics

A Derry woman with more than 30 previous convictions for public order offences has admitted assaulting hospital staff and being disorderly in Altnagelvin Hospital. Edel McLaughlin (38) of Seamus Roddy House in John Street admitted assaulting a doctor, a staff nurse and two ambulance workers on April 6. She also admitted being disorderly in the hospital on the same date. The court heard that police were called to the A&E department after reports of someone being violent and disorderly to staff. McLaughlin became abusive to police officers when they arrived and continued to abuse staff. The court was told that the doctor, nurse and ambulance workers were all put in fear of being assaulted as McLaughlin 'lashed out trying to strike staff.' CCTV and body worn footage evidence was collected. Police objected to bail for fear of further offences and the fact she had not answered police bail. Defence solicitor Mr. Paddy MacDermott said his client had not answered police bail as she was too intoxicated to go to the police station. He described the incident as 'reprehensible' and said McLaughlin had diabetes and couple with alcohol this made her act in an aggressive fashion. He said fortunately she did not connect with her blows and so the assaults were more apprehension than actual assault. McLaughlin was released on her own bail, to avoid alcohol and observe a curfew and will be sentenced on August 3.

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