| 7.1°C Dublin

Patient in kill threat to HSE staff at clinic

A FATHER of two threatened to kill HSE workers during a disagreement with health clinic staff, then spat in the face of a garda called to investigate the complaint.

Peter Maughan (24) had been at a "stressful" meeting in the south Dublin clinic when he made the threat to staff and had to be arrested.

A judge said she wanted to see a probation report on him before finalising the case.

Maughan, with an address at the time at Lower Rathmines Road, pleaded guilty to charges of causing a breach of the peace at the Dun Laoghaire clinic and assaulting Garda Gavin Fleet.

Sergeant Peadar McCann told Dun Laoghaire District Court that gardai were called to the clinic on Patrick Street at 12.40pm on October 19, 2005.

Garda Fleet was told that the accused had been asked to leave and had spat on the floor, kicked a table and told staff he would kill them.

He was arrested and cautioned for threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour. As he was being taken to Dun Laoghaire Garda Station, he began to argue with the officer and refused to hand over his mobile phone.

"He spat in Garda Fleet's face and had to be forcibly restrained," Sgt McCann said. Maughan later calmed down.

Maughan, who had no previous convictions, was 20 years old at the time, his solicitor Ronnie Lynam told the court.

He had attended the clinic on the day for a meeting that involved "a lot of stress and strain" for him. He was having emotional problems at the time.

He reacted badly and got very upset when the gardai came.

"His emotional state was such that his behaviour was totally unacceptable and he accepts that," Mr Lynam said. He had apologised for his actions.

The court heard the accused had been going through turmoil in his life and had since completely removed himself from the area he was living in and was now in Co Donegal.

"Now he has a far better relationship with everybody, including the HSE," Mr Lynam said.

The defendant had planned to go back into education and that would be available to him from September, he said.

"He has taken on huge responsibilities with two children and he should be behaving now," said Judge Bridget Reilly.

She adjourned the case to September 24 for a probation report and warned Maughan he should do everything he could to show the court the steps he was taking.