PUBLIC order legislation was invoked to prosecute a psychiatric patient who reacted aggressively to being discharged from hospital at a time when she did not feel well enough to leave.
Kaye Barrett, aged 41, of Curragh, Donoughmore, Co Cork, was prosecuted for engaging in threatening words or behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace and refusing to leave the scene of a disturbance when directed by gardaí.
She pleaded guilty to both of those offences brought under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act.
Extensive background reports were presented by Eddie Burke, defending, to Judge Olann Kelleher, including a psychiatric report.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said staff at Mercy University Hospital were discharging Barrett at 11.45am on November 25, 2021. “Gardaí received a call from the Mercy that this lady was refusing to leave. She was roaring and shouting insisting that the Mercy staff retain her.
“Gardaí directed her to desist in her behaviour and to leave in an orderly manner. She was in full view of patients, visitors and members of staff and was arrested under the public order act,” Sgt Lyons said.
Mr Burke said Barrett was originally from Donoughmore and had difficulties with her mental health. He said she was receiving medication and treatment in prison which she found beneficial.
Judge Kelleher said: “It is a sad case. She was charged with engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour. She had just been released from St. Michael’s unit and she had difficulty coping.”
The judge fined her €200 on each of the two charges or five days in prison in default of payment.