'Attacked by partner in intensive care'

'Attacked by partner in intensive care'

The partner and sister of a man who sustained serious head and spinal injuries during an assault last week have appeared in court charged with attacking him as he lay semi-conscious in bed in Altnagelvin Hospital's intensive care unit.

District Judge Barney McElholm was told that during the attack medical staff lay across the patient's head in an attempt to protect him as his partner and sister punched and slapped him and as they tried to pull out medical drips attached to him.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)The defendants are Bridget Mongan, 23, from Stanley's Walk in Derry and Eileen Stokes, 29, from Mourne Park in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone.They are jointly charged with attempted grievous bodily harm with intent on Patrick Mongan in the intensive care unit last Saturday night. They're further charged with assaulting two nurses and a doctor and with disorderly behaviour in the unit, also last Saturday night.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)A police officer told the Magistrate's Court in Londonderry that the defendant Stokes, who has twenty-seven previous convictions, is Mr Mongan's partner and the defendant Mongan, who has thirteen previous convictions, is his sister.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)The officer said on Saturday night the police responded to an emergency 999 call from the ICU staff who reported that the two woman had attacked Mr Mongan as he lay semi-conscious with serious head and spinal injuries.The two defendants had been in the unit earlier in the day visiting Mr Mongan but they returned in a drunken condition on Saturday night and punched and slapped Mr Mongan on the head and face as he lay semi-conscious on an ICU bed.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)Medical staff rushed to the room where they were verbally and physically abused by the defendants who shouted at them: "Why do you not waken him up?"CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)The police witness said the defendants then "began to pull drips attached to the patient which medical staff say caused his condition to become unstable by increasing his blood pressure and his pulse rate. One of the nurses lay across the patient's head to protect him during the incident".CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)The officer said the staff managed to remove the two defendant's from the unit however they managed to regain entry by following a doctor into the unit after he'd used his swipe card to gain access.They ran down the corridor chased by medical staff who prevented them from gaining access to Mr Mongan's room, however the defendant Stokes managed to break free and she went into the room where she was seen pulling Mr Mongan across the bed.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)The officer said he feared both women would attempt to re-enter the hospital if granted bail and he said but for the intervention of the medical staff the injuries sustained by Mr Mongan during the incident could have been much more serious.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said both defendants suffered from recurring alcohol related problems and he described their behaviour in the hospital last Saturday night as unpleasant in the extreme. Refusing bail Mr McElholm said he could imagine in some circumstances people who pulled out medical drips being charged with attempted murder.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)He said: "Their behaviour was totally outrageous and but for the timely intervention of the medical staff it could have been much more serious."This is the third case I have dealt with this morning involving various types of bad behaviour in a hospital, but this one really went a step further. It was an outrageous invasion of the ICU which should be a place of sanctuary for both staff and patients."CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)Both defendants wept as they were remanded in custody for a video link appearance on 23 January.


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