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Man spat at police and was disorderly at Craigavon Area Hospital on Christmas Day

He is to appeal against a three month prison sentence for what the district judge described as a 'very serious offence'

Police PSNI Emergency Craigavon Hospital

A man who spat at a police officer and was disorderly at Craigavon Area Hospital on Christmas Day is to appeal against a three month prison sentence.

The 31-year-old was released on bail to appeal the custodial sentence with a condition that he is not to enter Craigavon Area Hospital.

Mindaugas Tauckela, of Dungannon Street in Moy, appeared for sentencing on two counts of disorderly behaviour and three counts of assault on police at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined how at 8.40pm on Christmas Day, police were tasked to a report of a fight in the vicinity of Orangefield Drive, Armagh.

Upon arrival, this defendant was observed running away from officers and when stopped refused to provide his details.

Tauckela was described as being hostile towards police, calling them “w*****s” and telling them to “f*** off”.

The defendant was arrested for disorderly behaviour and taken to Craigavon Area Hospital for treatment.

Whilst there, Tauckela continued to be aggressive towards police and hospital staff, spitting at one of the officers.

The defendant kicked one constable and stamped on the foot of another as he was being escorted from the hospital.

Defence counsel stated they had been instructed that Tauckela had been attending a friend’s house for Christmas and had stepped outside for a smoke when he was approached by an unknown male.

The defendant claimed to have been assaulted by this individual after refusing him a cigarette, which led to him requiring medical assistance.

The legal representative stated: “They scarpered for want of a better word and he followed…when police arrive they see him running from the scene, which is where the spiralling circumstances begin and he dealt with it in the wrong way.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “Misbehaving in a hospital is a very serious offence, in this case doubly so because ‘A’ it was Christmas Day, everyone else was at home having dinner with their families except those employed by the hospital working that day.

“This was also in the middle of a pandemic and it is accepted that you spat at a police officer in the hospital….we have to support and protect our medical staff and all the ancillary staff who work in a hospital setting.”

Tauckela was sentenced to three months in prison for the offences before the court.

Defence counsel made court aware of his client’s wish to appeal this sentence.

The defendant was granted his own bail of £500 in order to do this, conditions of which were not to enter Craigavon Area Hospital and an alcohol prohibition.

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