Teenager tried to bite nurse after being taken to hospital

Enniskillen Courthouse

Enniskillen Courthouse

A TEENAGER who tried to bite a nurse while threatening to kill himself has been handed a community service order of 200 hours.

19-year-old Niall Johnston, of Coolcullen Meadow, Enniskillen, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour when he appeared before Enniskillen Magistrates Court.


A prosecutor explained to the court that on July 13, this year, at approximately 2.30am, police were called to a house in the Windmill Heights area in Enniskillen following ongoing allegations which, the court heard, were not proceeded with.

When officers arrived at the house they spoke with a number of individuals who identified the defendant as being involved in an incident at that address.

One of the individuals had made a complaint about Johnston and as officers spoke with the defendant he replied: “What did I do? I did nothing.”

The court was told that Johnston was taken to the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) for treatment to an injury he sustained when he fell to the ground.

As Johnston was waiting for treatment, he began to shout and swear and told staff he needed “a f***ing p**s”.

Police noted that others were in the area at the time. Johnston was taken to the toilet cubicle and after police removed his handcuffs the accused then fell to the ground and started punching himself on the head and shouted loudly: “I will f***ing kill myself, you bastard, I don’t give a f**k.”

Johnston was taken back to the waiting area where he continued to shout and threaten to kill himself.


He then tried to bite a nurse who placed him in a wheelchair.

Johnston was subsequently arrested for his behaviour and was taken to Enniskillen Police Station after he was discharged from hospital.

Defence solicitor Emer Cox outlined her client’s disgust over the incident adding that he admitted it was unacceptable and he was embarrassed by what happened.

“He was drinking before this incident took place,” she added.

“The injuries were directed towards himself and not anyone else in the hospital. He wants to apologise to the staff at the SWAH for his behaviour.”

A letter of apology written by Johnston was handed in to court which Judge Broderick asked to be passed on to the SWAH staff.

Judge Broderick enquired if Johnston has an alcohol problem. Miss Cox responded that he has attended a number of programmes for his drink problem.

“That clearly hasn’t worked,” he added.

Miss Cox explained that Johnston’s mother was anxious to have him home as he is a “great support network” for the family.

“He wants to put his offending behind him and make a fresh start to his life,” Miss Cox added.

District Judge Nigel Broderick warned Johnston that the court was considering handing him a custodial sentence.
“This offence,” he added, “was aggravated by the incident in the hospital.

“You have already amassed 14 previous convictions. Until you address these alcohol problems you will amass a lengthy record.

“I have seen it all too often and you tick every box, you will be back in court on a regular basis. If it weren’t for your youth I would send you straight to jail.

“Hopefully this order will make you realise your actions.”

A second charge of common assault was withdrawn by the Public Prosecution Service.

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