A man who assaulted prison staff and damaged an ambulance at Craigavon Area Hospital has been sentenced to four months in prison.
Wiktor Kalinowski, (23), appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Maghaberry, charged with two counts of assault on a prison officer and two counts of criminal damage.
The court heard that Kalinowski was pleading guilty to all four charges and was waiving his right to a pre-sentence report (PSR).
The prosecution explained that on July 18 of this year, at approximately 5.30am, police were tasked to provide assistance to prison and ambulance staff at Craigavon Area Hospital.
Prison staff had been struggling with the defendant, who, it was alleged, had become “irate and aggressive” towards prison staff whilst waiting to be seen.
The defendant had urinated in the back of an ambulance, “even after being offered a suitable way to relieve himself”.
It was also alleged that he had attempted to defecate in the rear of the ambulance.
The defendant had “lashed out at staff” and began spitting blood on staff and over the rear of the ambulance.
Police assisted in restraining the defendant to the point when a spit and bite guard were applied to prevent him from spitting further.
During the incident, he caused damage to an on board defibrillator, which cracked the screen and caused the ambulance to be taken off the road until it was repaired and cleaned.
Ciaran Roddy BL, defending, stated that the incident had occurred over a “significant wait for treatment” at the hospital, but accepted that this was a case with a “number of aggravating features” such as the assaults on the prison staff and the damage to the defibrillator, which resulted in the ambulance being taken off the road.
“It could perhaps only have been worsened if he had assaulted the paramedics, but thankfully that wasn’t the case,” he said.
The defence explained that the defendant, who had a “relatively modest” record, had faced the matter “head on” and entered a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity.
The court further heard that the defendant had been in custody since November 2021, with the defence saying: “The worsening of his mental health has correlated with these recent offences.”
District Judge Brady, presiding, said of the defendant, who is on remand for other matters: “He’s not in a position to do any community-based disposals. I do feel of course the custodial threshold has been passed.”
District Judge Brady imposed an immediate prison sentence of four months in custody in respect of the charges.