AN alcoholic awaiting hospital treatment ended up in court after hurling drunken abuse at a police officer.
Police had been called to the accident and emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital by staff concerned about Steven Smith’s behaviour.
The 31-year-old – who has a history of booze-fuelled offences – had been at the hospital to have treatment on a head injury, but swore at the officer when he arrived on the ward late on Wednesday evening
Smith, of no fixed abode, was arrested and spent the night in custody before admitting a charge of being drunk and disorderly in a public place at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He was warned foul-mouthed abuse of police ‘could not be condoned’ by magistrates.
Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “At 11.20pm, a police constable was asked to attend the A&E department at South Tyneside Hospital due to trouble with a male.
“Smith was standing against a wall, shouting and being aggressive.
“He swore at the police officer. The officer could smell intoxicating liquor on his breath, his speech was slurred and he continued to be aggressive.
“He waved his arms in an aggressive manner, and was cautioned and arrested.”
Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He is an alcoholic, unfortunately.
“He had been drinking and then went to the hospital and was in an intoxicated state.
“The police came to move him and he wanted to stay and get treatment.
“The police took the view he should sober up before getting help.
“He has been in custody for 12 hours as a result.
“You may feel that cooling off period will satisfy you.”
Harry Metcalfe, chairman of the magistrates, said: “We take the point that alcohol is a problem in your life, but swearing at a public officer in the earshot of members of the public is not something we would like to condone.”
Smith was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15.