A serving prisoner – ‘reaching the end of a short sentence’ – who assaulted two prison guards during a visit to Craigavon Area Hospital has been sentenced to four months in jail .
Michael Cullen, 27, of Lagmore Dale, Dunmurry, was charged with criminal damage, disorderly behavior and two counts of common assault.
He appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via video link from Maghaberry.
The court heard that on August 6, 2021, police were dispatched to Craigavon Area Hospital where a prisoner was with two Maghaberry corrections officers.
Officers, who were with the accused while he was receiving treatment in hospital, told police the accused was unhappy with the way he was handcuffed.
He began “to thrash”, spat on the two officers and punched them several times “in the face and head”.
The prosecution pointed out that police observed Cullen spitting on the screen that had been placed around him and “swearing and being disorderly with other sick patients nearby”.
Cullen’s defense attorney, Peter Coiley, commented, “His criminal record is littered with drug abuse offences. He suffered from drug-induced psychosis. That’s no justification, but it might be an explanation of why he’s here.
District Judge Bernie Kelly said, “This kind of behavior in a hospital should be condemned. I therefore certify offenses as so serious that there is only one sentence I can impose.
Cullen was sentenced to four months in prison for each charge in court, with all periods of custody to run concurrently.
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