Bishop's Street Courthouse
A woman who had previously been given seven suspended sentences primarily for charges of being disorderly in Altnagelvin Hospital has been jailed.
Leona Devlin (38) of Spencer Road in Derry admitted being disorderly in Altnagelvin Hospital on December 27 last year.
She also admitted a charge of assaulting a police officer, criminal damage in the hospital and possessing a needle on the same date.Devlin also pleaded guilty to another charge of criminal damage in the hospital on August 25 and disorderly again in the hospital on the same date.
Defence counsel Stephen Chapman said that there had been various attempts to get Devlin to meet with agencies to ensure they could help her.But District Judge Barney McElholm said that he had continually tried to help Devlin but added that it appeared 'to be all one way.'
In relation to the case of Devlin Judge McElholm said that the A&E department at Altnagelvin Hospital was probably twice as busy as it was designed for.He said that the last thing that department needed was people like Devlin wreaking havoc.
He said most people could not understand the protocol that meant police brought people to A&E to be triage to see if they needed mental health care.
The judge said this was 'profoundly stupid' as bringing people to be triaged for mental health assessment to Altnagelvin did not make sense.He said instead of bringing people to Altnagelvin to see if they had to go to Grangewood why not bring them straight to Grangewood where the mental health professionals were based. He imposed all the suspended sentences concurrently and imposed a six month sentence on the latest charges.
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