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Patient threw cup of water at doctor in hospital phone row


Roland Stealalous had behaved in an ‘appalling manner’

Roland Stealalous had behaved in an ‘appalling manner’

Roland Stealalous had behaved in an ‘appalling manner’

A hospital patient threw a cup of water at a doctor who confiscated his phone after he saw him taking pictures of his injuries.

Roland Stealalous (36) was being treated in an emergency department (ED) after an epileptic seizure when he began using his phone to take photos of himself.

Judge John Hughes said he had behaved in an "appalling manner" in throwing the cup at the doctor and gave him a one-month suspended sentence. He also fined him €500.

At Dublin District Court, Stealalous, of Lower Camden Street in the south city centre, pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

The court heard the incident happened at St James' Hospital on November 10, 2017.

Gardai were called to the ED at 5.30am after a complaint that an intoxicated man had thrown a cup of water at staff.

When they arrived, the accused continued to engage in verbal abuse and was arrested.

Stealalous took two to three seizures a month and was "no stranger to hospital", his solicitor Stephen O'Mahony said.


The court was told he did not normally drink but on that night, he was out celebrating a friend's birthday and had two to three pints of beer.

He had a seizure, could not move his legs and was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he was triaged and awaiting further treatment. He was taking pictures of where his shirt had ripped and he had injured himself when the doctor asked him to refrain.

Stealalous tried to explain, but the doctor took his phone and walked away. The glass was nearly empty when he threw it in the direction of the doctor, and missed, Mr O'Mahony said.

He accepted the doctor had had "good reason" to stop him.

The accused had worked as a driver, but had to stop since he was diagnosed with epilepsy.

The judge said it was ironic that the accused had sought medical attention and saw fit to behave in an appalling manner in "what is a stressful place of work" for doctors and nurses, as well as members of the public.

Judge Hughes suspended the sentence for a year.