Jailed for two years over hospi­tal knife night­mare

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - MIKE MCQUAID

A drunk car­ry­ing a knife has been jailed af­ter threat­en­ing hospi­tal staff.

Paul Con­nelly was bleed­ing from a face wound when he turned up at Hairmyres Hospi­tal’s ac­ci­dent and emer­gency unit and mut­tered about “hav­ing to clean up the streets”.

Po­lice were con­tacted af­ter he warned a re­cep­tion­ist he would“come through that win­dow”and cause prob­lems.

Con­nelly, 29, ap­peared from cus­tody via vide­olink at Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court on Fri­day.

He ad­mit­ted pos­ses­sion of a knife and threat­en­ing or abu­sive be­hav­iour at the hospi­tal in the early hours of May 29.

Con­nelly also ad­mit­ted abu­sive be­hav­iour to­wards his girl­friend over a six-week pe­riod in March and April that in­cluded as­saults and dam­ag­ing prop­erty.

Mairi-Clare McMil­lan, pros­e­cut­ing, said Con­nelly ap­peared to be in­tox­i­cated when he ar­rived at A&E at 3.25am. He was bleed­ing from a cut to his face.

Ms McMil­lan told the court:“He was act­ing er­rat­i­cally, stat­ing he had a knife in his bag and telling staff to phone the po­lice.

“He then be­came more ag­gres­sive and told the re­cep­tion­ist‘I’ll come through that win­dow and then you will have a prob­lem’.

“Con­nelly pro­duced a large kitchen knife from his bag and be­gan pac­ing up and down A&E, mak­ing bizarre com­ments such as‘Why should I be left to clean up the streets?’

“Po­lice of­fi­cers at­tended and he could be heard shout­ing. He was ar­rested and taken to Cath­cart po­lice sta­tion.”

De­fence agent Andy Thom­son said his client, a trained chef, moved back to East Kil­bride eight months ago af­ter a spell work­ing in Portsmouth.

Un­for­tu­nately, he has“some al­co­hol and drug is­sues”.

Con­nelly claimed he meant no harm to staff when he went to the hospi­tal.

Mr Thom­son ex­plained:“A group of youths had set upon him. He was as­saulted, but he was able to dis­arm an in­di­vid­ual who had a knife.

“He put the knife in his bag and walked for 20 min­utes to the hospi­tal.

“He was ag­i­tated and asked staff to phone the po­lice. He pro­duced the knife and tried to ex­plain what had hap­pened.”

Re­fer­ring to the sep­a­rate do­mes­tic abuse charge, Mr Thom­son de­scribed the relationsh­ip with the woman as “toxic”and claimed there was vi­o­lence on both sides.

Sher­iff Alas­dair MacFadyen said the hospi­tal in­ci­dent was of con­cern, but he took ac­count of the ac­cused’s“un­usual men­tal con­di­tion”and that he ap­pears to be tak­ing steps to ad­dress it.

Con­nelly was jailed for a to­tal of two years, back­dated to May 29 as he has been in cus­tody since then.

He was also given a non-ha­rass­ment or­der, ban­ning him from con­tact­ing his vic­tim for three years.

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