Female resident attacked sheltered living staff member

Published: 27 Oct 2012 11:30

A senior member of staff at a sheltered living unit locked himself in an office when he was attacked by a female resident, Fermanagh Court has been told.

The resident, 55-year-old Teresa Murphy, admitted assaulting the man on

July 21, and a female member of staff on July 6.

Deputy District Judge Terence Dunlop said attacks on staff in such

settings were "reprehensible" and "just not acceptable".

He praised the authors of a comprehensive pre-sentence probation report

and added that the apparatus in a magistrate's court for considering a

defendant's fitness to plead was "inadequate".

He conditionally discharged Murphy for two years, meaning she will pay

no penalty unless she re-offends during that time.

Outlining the background to the case, a prosecutor told the court that

just after 10.30pm on July 6, police were called to an on-going

disturbance at a sheltered living home at Knockmore Road, Derrygonnelly.

They spoke to a member of staff who told them she had been assaulted by

Murphy. She had scratch marks and redness to her forearm. Murphy was

interviewed and admitted the assault.

The prosecutor said that on July 21, police were again called to the

sheltered accommodation and spoke to a senior member of staff. He told

them Murphy had become aggressive towards him, trying to scratch him.

Due to the level of her aggression he locked himself in an office with

another member of staff.

Defence solicitor, Mr. Michael Fahy, said Murphy had lived in hospitals

and independent residential settings. She continued to have the support

of the staff. She had no previous convictions but there was another

matter pending.

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