TWO MEN were convicted for acting aggressively towards nurses at the Gilbert Bain Hospital when they appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday.
Twenty one year old Owen Haughian, of Hoofields, Lerwick had sentence deferred after admitting assaulting, obstructing and hindering hospital staff on 21 December.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at Clickimin Leisure Centre earlier the same day.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Haughian had attended a work Christmas party at Clickimin. He began behaving “strangely and bizarrely” and was asked to leave by his company’s management.
After being escorted out he began hitting his head against a wall. Security staff restrained him and called the police. MacKenzie said he had to be restrained with handcuffs and leg restraints due to his aggression.
Having sustained cuts he was taken to hospital for treatment, where his behaviour was “belligerent, obstructive and difficult at all times”.
Haughian pretended to be unconscious when staff asked him for personal details, the fiscal said, and continually shouted and referred to police officers as “pricks” and “arseholes”.
After leaving the hospital “complaining loudly about the state of the NHS”, he hit his head off a metal barrier outside until he began bleeding.
He was taken back into hospital where he was “walking almost bent double” to ensure he dripped as much blood on the floor as possible, leaving a 10 metre-long trail.
MacKenzie said the episode had caused “a great deal of distress” to nursing staff and other patients.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client’s behaviour had been “frankly atrocious”, though due to “extreme” intoxication he had no recollection of events at the hospital.
Allan said Haughian was “ashamed and embarrassed” and “truly sorry for what he has done”.
It was possible there is “some psychiatric element” to his behaviour in addition to an alcohol problem. The court heard Haughian has recently taken up the Mormon faith and is working towards giving up drinking completely.
Sheriff Philip Mann described Haughian’s conduct as “truly shocking” and said it “amply merits” a jail term.
But he deferred sentence until 4 September for Haughian to be of good behaviour, telling him: “Your destiny is in your own hands.”
Meanwhile 52 year old Brian Laird, of Sandveien, Lerwick, was fined £300 after admitting to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at the Gilbert Bain on 7 December.
The fiscal said it was another “deeply unpleasant” incident, albeit not one that indicated any “developing trend” of people causing disturbances at the hospital.
Laird shouted, swore and “flailed his arms around indiscriminately” in a busy waiting room on a Saturday afternoon. MacKenzie said it had left members of the public, including children, feeling frightened.
Defence agent Allan said Laird was an alcoholic and had gone on a binge that morning following the recent death of his father – the first time he’d had a drink in five years.
“He knows he upsets everybody when he drinks,” Allan said. “It wasn’t a lightly-taken decision. But he tells me he has not taken a drink since.”
Issuing the fine, reduced from £450 to reflect his early guilty plea, sheriff Mann warned Laird he will face stern court action if his “totally unacceptable” behaviour is repeated.
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