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Man to appeal against jail term for assaulting paramedic in ambulance taking him to hospital

The district judge had told him: 'There is only one penalty I can impose as it is the only way I am going to stop this rot'

Emergency Department Hospital Ambulance

A man who assaulted a paramedic whilst en route to Craigavon Area Hospital has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Handing down the sentence, the district judge commented it was the only way to “stop this rot”.

Upon lodging an appeal the 57-year-old was released on bail with a condition not to enter Craigavon Area Hospital.

Ezzard Charles Boyd, of Castle Gardens, Dungannon pleaded guilty to common assault at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court.

Court heard that on April 7, at around 5.30am, police were tasked to Craigavon Area Hospital regarding an alleged assault.

When officers arrived, the defendant was in the back of an ambulance abusing staff and refusing to leave.

A paramedic told police that he had been kicked and slapped by Boyd as he accompanied him in the ambulance from his home to the hospital.

The defendant was subsequently taken into the hospital for an assessment but had to be removed as he refused to be quiet in the presence of other patients.

He was taken into custody where he later told police during an interview that he had little memory of the incident but agreed his behaviour was unacceptable.

Defence solicitor Patrick Hughes stated: “As your worship heard, Mr Boyd has very little recollection but accepted what he is before the court for.

“He is embarrassed and ashamed. He had been drinking in the lead up to calling the emergency services for help.”

He added: “Mr Boyd has an alcohol problem but he is also a habitual user of marijuana or cannabis, but he is now trying to address these issues.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “The court has two principal functions in sentencing, the rehabilitation of the defendant and the protection of the public. I believe there is also an element of a deterrent.

“We are lucky to have a hospital service which serves this wide community. When you thought you needed the help of the medical services, you dialled 999 and an ambulance came to your door.”

She continued: “Could you imagine if we didn’t have that service? Who would parents of young children who are sick in the middle of the night contact? Who would look after the elderly in our community?

“When you get to the hospital, you are not content with assaulting a paramedic who came to your aid, you go one step further and show appalling behaviour inside of the hospital in front of staff, patients and grieving families.”

District Judge Kelly said: “There is only one penalty I can impose as it is the only way I am going to stop this rot.”

Boyd was sentenced to three months in prison for the offence.

Mr Hughes informed the court that the defendant wished to appeal the sentence.

The defendant was granted his own bail to appeal of £250 with the condition that he was banned from Craigavon Area Hospital.

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