AN Enniskillen man has been sentenced to four months in prison for smashing a hospital’s computer and failing to pay a taxi fare of over £100.
Leroy McDonagh (27) of Derrin Park, Enniskillen, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison on Monday.
He was charged with criminal damage in relation to an incident at the South West Acute Hospital on March 15th. In relation to this incident, the court heard that police were called to the hospital after McDonagh began acting aggressively towards staff after being admitted. McDonagh approached the nurses station and lifted a computer before shattering it on the floor, resulting in £213 worth of damage.
McDonagh was also charged with obtaining services dishonestly after using a taxi for which he had no funds to pay for. The court heard that on October 2nd last, McDonagh got a taxi from near the main Europa bus station in Glengall Street in Belfast to Fermanagh. He told the driver that he had money at his home and gave him his mobile phone as security.
When the taxi got to McDonagh’s home, the defendant went into the hosue but came out again a short time later and told the driver that he coudn’t find his bank card. McDonagh asked to be taken to an ATM to get money to pay for the taxi and told the driver he needed his phone back as his PIN was in it.
When his phone was returned, McDonagh got out of the car and walked away from the direction of the ATM and went instead towards Enniskillen Police Station. He told officers in the station that he had no money to pay the taxi fare of £117.10. When interviewed by police, McDonagh said he took the taxi and had fully intended to pay for it but couldn’t access his bank account.
Defence solicitor Conor Heaney said his client had a long history of mental health issues.
“He is hopeful that therapeutic intervention will lead to long periods of mental well-being after his long periods of poor mental health. These offences occured when he had mental ill health, specifically the crimninal damage and were committed against a backdrop of alcohol abuse over a significant period.”
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the absence of a Pre-Sentence Report limited his options when it came to sentencing.
“I’m satisfied that the defendant has mental health problems but I’m also satisfied that when the offence occured at the hospital, he was undergoing a psychotic episode that led to his behaviour.”
McDonagh was sentenced to a total of four months imprisonment. The judge said he was not minded to impose a suspended sentence previously imposed on McDonagh but told him the sentence would hang over his head.
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Posted: 6:00 pm July 8, 2016