An Armagh man who spat on a female paramedic when she was trying to treat him was jailed for three months on Tuesday.
Corey McMullan (28) was also handed a two month month sentence for using disorderly behaviour at Omagh Bus Station.
But describing the spitting incident as “the most serious in my view”, District Judge Amanda Brady ordered the jail terms to be served concurrently.
McMullan, from Culdee Terrace in Armagh, appeared at the city’s Magistrates Court via videolink from prison having previously admitted offences of assaulting an ambulance worker and disorderly behaviour.
A prosecuting lawyer how police were dealing with a “domestic report” involving McMullan on 17 January when officers contacted the ambulance service due to concerns about him.
Describing how he was “extremely distressed and heavily intoxicated”, the lawyer outlined how McMullan told them he was having “real difficulties” with his mental health while “hitting himself on the head and banging his head on the wall”.
McMullan “refused to co-operate” with the paramedic crew and the court heard that while he was in the back of the ambulance, “he was abusive to staff and while they were attempting to secure his seat belt, he spat at a paramedic and it landed on their uniform”.
The lawyer revealed, however, that within a short time of the incident, McMullan was detained under the mental health order.
The next incident, the court heard, was on 17 April this year when the staff at a Spar shop in Omagh called the police due to “concerns for the safety” of the defendant who was “heavily intoxicated and behaving in an aggressive manner to shop staff”.
Officers who arrived arrested McMullan for breaching bail conditions but he was released and taken to the bus station to get home.
The lawyer told the court, however, that he “became aggressive and demanded to be taken home to Derry”, telling the District Judge that he started shouting the “usual diatribe of abuse that I’m sure you can imagine” and refused to stop so was arrested.
She said while McMullan was not in breach of any court orders or suspended sentences, he has “amassed 112 convictions for a man who is not yet 30″, and defence counsel Scott McWhinney said the “driving force” behind his record was mental health problems and “severe alcohol addiction”.
Jailing McMullan, District Judge Brady said assaulting a paramedic is “always serious” but that as his mental health difficulties “appear to be recognised by the police and prosecution…I will give him a shorter sentence than it would other wise have been”.
Having heard that McMullan has been in custody since the end of April, she added: “I will leave it up to the prison service to work out when he is time served but that should be within a few days.”
Sign up for our weekly newsletter here.