Man who assaulted Royal Hospital security guard warned he’ll get “no mercy” in future

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Man also convicted of having martial arts nunchucks

A Belfast man who assaulted a hospital security guard and set off a fire extinguisher will be shown “no mercy” in future, a judge warned today.

Neil Otero, 23, was also convicted of having martial arts nunchucks during an incident in the city last year.

He received an eight-month suspended jail term for breaching the community-based probation orders originally imposed.

But District Judge Mark Hamill told him any similar behaviour at a hospital in future will not be tolerated. 

“If you go anywhere near a member of staff, whether it’s a porter or a consultant, you will get no mercy from this court,” Mr Hamill cautioned.

Otero, with a last known address on the Woodvale Road, was prosecuted on charges of possessing an offensive weapon in public and common assault.

He faced a further count of criminal damage to a fire extinguisher belonging to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The charges were connected to an incident in the Broadway area of the city on July 30 last year.

He admitted the three offences and was subjected to a combination of probation and community service.

But his case was brought back before Belfast Magistrates’ Court today for alleged failures to comply with the terms imposed.

Defence solicitor Paul Dougan confirmed the breaches were accepted, and said Otero’s lifestyle had impacted on his ability to comply.

Mr Dougan also submitted that while the original common assault may have occurred on the hospital grounds, it was not near any of the wards.

However, the judge replied that his client had been “extremely lucky to get off this easily”.

Re-sentencing Otero, Mr Hamill handed him an eight month sentence, suspended for three years.

He stressed: “Assaulting a security guard in a hospital, you should be in the Crown Court facing at least two years in prison.”

For the original article see here.

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