Man convicted over ‘atrocious’ behaviour

, by , in Headlines, News

A Lerwick man who behaved in an “atrocious” manner in the Gilbert Bain Hospital avoided a jail sentence and was bailed for a further appearance at Lerwick Sheriff Court in September.

The court heard that Owen Haughian launched into an episode of bizarre, abusive and aggressive behaviour at a works night out at the Clickimin Leisure Complex on 21st December.

After injuring himself by banging his head on a wall, Haughian, 31, of Hoofields, Lerwick, was taken to hospital where his “shocking” behaviour continued in front of medical staff and seriously ill patients alike. Haughian injured himself by banging his head again and had to be restrained in handcuffs until he was treated for his head wounds.

The court heard that Haughian was a productive worker, but had repeated episodes of bad behaviour when drunk. He had attempted to turn his life around by giving up drink and becoming a Mormon.

He appeared today after pleading guilty to charges of threatening and abusive behaviour and assault at a previous hearing.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Haughian’s behaviour at his works Christmas Party in the sports centre became so bizarre that his managers asked him to leave. Instead he went to the upstairs fitness suite and threatened to throw himself from the balcony.

Haughian was escorted from the centre by security staff, all the while shouting and swearing, and then started to hit his head on the wall before “pretending to have some sort of blackout”.

Police were summoned to find Haughian being restrained on the ground. An ambulance was then called on account of his injuries and he remained abusive and aggressive in the ambulance where he was handcuffed and put in leg restraints.

Once in hospital Haughian became belligerent and obstructive with a female nurse and feigned unconsciousness rather than co-operating with staff. He came around when a policeman took his wallet in order to establish his identity and once more became aggressive.

The court heard there were many elderly, critical and seriously ill patients in hospital at that time who could hear Haughian’s outbursts, which included ranting about his treatment and the state of the National Health Service.

Police eventually advised Haughian to leave hospital but when one took his arm to “encourage him to leave” he leapt in the air and threw himself on the ground before accusing the police of being “pakis, pricks and arseholes”.

Mr MacKenzie said that hospital staff dealt with “challenging” people quite often, but Haughian’s behaviour had caused a “great deal of stress to nursing staff and, more importantly, other patients.”

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said that Haughian’s behaviour was “frankly atrocious” but his client was ashamed and embarrassed about the episode. He also clearly had an issue with alcohol, but has addressing his repeated misbehaviour by abstinence and his new found faith.

Sheriff Philip Mann said that he found it a “difficult” case to deal with but did not want to jail Haughian and throw away the key. “When you do not drink, you are a hard working member of the community and otherwise law abiding. The behaviour you display when drunk is quite frankly bizarre.”

Sheriff Mann deferred sentence for four months to allow Haughian to display his capacity for good behaviour. His bail conditions included a seven-day-a-week curfew which included a condition of answering the door to police at any time during his curfew.

The sheriff also wanted to see reports from Haughian’s Mormon church officer and recommended a psychiatric assessment to try to get to the bottom of Haughian’s behaviour. Haughian would go “straight to jail” if he misbehaved again or breached his bail conditions.