A FORMER cleaner at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) has been given a conditional discharge for brining a knife into the hospital.
John Wilson (65) of Silverhill Manor, Enniskillen pleaded guilty to possession of a pointed article, namely a knife, at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last Wednesday.
On Tuesday, October 11 last police received a report from management at the SWAH who had intervened after Wilson, who worked as a cleaner at the hospital, took a knife to work with him and showed it two other employees at the hospital.
Wilson was arrested the same day and when interviewed admitted to brining the knife, which was described as a black-handled kitchen knife and had a blade between six and eight inches long onto the premises.
Wilson said he had taken the knife into work to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as grout, and for opening packages.
Defence solicitor Garry Smyth said Wilson had been suspended from work as a result of the incident and has since resigned his position. He said the defendant had found the court proceedings very difficult, and explained Wilson had a learning disability.
Mr Smyth said Wilson was well respected by his colleagues, many of whom were in court supporting him, and by the wider community. Letters regarding his character from his colleagues and from medical staff at the hospital were handed in to the court.
In reference to Wilson’s previous clear record, Mr Smyth said: “It is particularly sad that at his stage of his life, with no blemish on his character, he now finds himself in court.”
Mr Smyth added there was no prospect of Wilson, who is married with grown-up children, coming before the court again in future “in any shape or form.”
The Public Prosecution Service successfully applied for a restraining order to be taken out against Wilson, which prevents him from harassing or intimidating Caroline Murray, directly or indirectly, for the next 12 months.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was “clearly inappropriate” for Wilson to have brought a knife to work, and told the defendant he should’ve asked his employer for any equipment he needed. The judge added Wilson may not have fully understood the consequences of brining the knife to work.
Judge Broderick imposed a conditional discharge on Wilson for 12 months, meaning if he does not reoffend in the next year he will not have a criminal record.
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