AN INJURED man taken to A&E by police officers following a violent confrontation on a Carlisle housing estate became abusive, spitting at a fellow patient and threatening to kill her family.

A barrister representing 31-year-old Joseph Malloy said his aggressive behaviour was linked to his post-traumatic stress and the effects of a powerful benzodiazepine pill that he had taken.

Malloy, formerly of Carlisle but recently living at Victoria Street, Cleator Moor, was originally charged with an attempted robbery involving a bid to steal a couple's dog.

But on the day he was to stand trial at the city's crown court, the prosecution accepted his guilty pleas to less serious charges – two common assaults and two public order offences.

Daniel Bramhall, prosecuting, described how police were called to Raffles Parade in Carlisle on the afternoon of January 20. A couple who were in the area walking their 10-week old puppy had encountered Malloy and another man.

Outside the  Bargain Booze shop, Malloy asked the woman how much she would accept for her dog. Fearing that her dog was about to be taken, she reacted by swearing, and saying: “I’d like to see you try.”

When she and her partner tried to walk away, Malloy and the other man followed them. The two men tried to grab the woman’s partner and the dog, causing the man to let go of the puppy.

Malloy was then seen lunging towards the woman and a scuffle ensued. The woman’s partner later reported being hit on the back of the head. Later that day, police found Malloy at his home.

Because he appeared to be under the influence of something, and was bleeding from the head, the officers took him to A&E at The Cumberland Infirmary. While there, as he sat handcuffed between the two police officers, Malloy was recognised by a woman he had gone to school with.

The officers asked him to be quiet after he repeatedly fired questions at them. When he stood up, appearing angry, they pushed him back into his seat. But Malloy became agitated and yelled insults at the female patient.

“He told her to take down her facemask so that he could see her and come and kill her family,” said Mr Bramhall. The defendant then stood on his seat and spat towards the woman while insulting her.

Judith McCullough, defending, said: “He deeply regrets his actions on January 20. In 2013, this defendant was assaulted and stabbed.

“He very nearly lost his life.” Malloy had undergone emergency surgery which had included a heart bypass and the attack had left him both physically and emotionally scarred, said the barrister.

In recent years, he was given a formal diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. He also suffered anxiety and depression. These factors fed into the defendant’s offending history, said Miss McCullough.

On the day in question, Malloy took unprescribed Xanax tablet.

Miss McCullough said: “He's ashamed and very sorry for what he's done.” He in particular apologised to the woman he verbally abused and spat at in the A&E department.

The barrister added: “He telephoned the police station to apologise and was told his message would be passed on to all of the officers involved.”

Recorder Mark Ainsworth told Malloy his behaviour on January 20 was  “disgraceful”. From the dock of the court, Malloy agreed, uttering the word: “Disgusting” as he described his behaviour.

The owners of the puppy had simply been minding their own business and were out with their small puppy when Malloy subjected them to abusive and violent behaviour. The same was true of the police officers and the woman he verbally abused at The Cumberland Infirmary.

“It doesn’t require a doctor to tell you just how concerning it would be for someone to be spat at during the pandemic,” said the judge. But Recorder Ainsworth noted that Malloy, whose criminal record comprises 28 previous offences, had not in the past been given a community order.

Referring to the defendant’s PTSD, the judge said such intervention may allow Malloy to “move on with his life.” The Recorder imposed a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity days.