Patient told Mercy Hospital doctor he would punch his head off

Patient told Mercy Hospital doctor he would punch his head off

A doctor treating a patient at Mercy University Hospital two days before Christmas was threatened by the young man that he would punch his head off.

Sergeant John Kelleher gave evidence of the incident at Cork District Court.

“Mathew Ginnifer had a cut to his head and he was conveyed to the Mercy hospital.

“At the Mercy he became very abusive to staff. He said, ‘Get your hands away from me or I will punch the head off you’,” Sgt Kelleher said.

This threat was made by the 27-year-old to the doctor in the presence of other hospital staff and members of the public on December 23 last.

Ginnifer was before the court where he pleaded guilty to this charge and to other charges including theft. Judge Olann Kelleher said while the theft and other charges carried a longer maximum sentence he regarded the charge of threatening hospital staff as more serious.

Judge Kelleher said: “It cannot go on, particularly in the Mercy where he is threatening nurses and doctors who are only there to help him.” 

The judge noted the maximum sentence for this offence was three months and he took into consideration the guilty plea as he imposed a two-month sentence. It will run concurrently with five-month sentences imposed for theft and failing to appear in court.

122 previous convictions

Sgt Kelleher said the accused had 122 previous convictions including 22 for theft, eight for failing to appear and 12 for engaging in threatening behaviour.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said: “His record is quite poor but recently his interaction with the criminal justice system is limited. His addictions relate to multi-substance difficulties. He has

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