Drugged-up lout caught carrying weapon in the RAH

A yob high on a cocktail of street Valium and booze was caught armed with a screwdriver wandering around Paisley’s hospital.

Joseph Brennan, 36, was reported to cops amid claims he had been stealing from the canteen at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in the town’s Corsebar Road.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard Brennan then deliberately placed police officers at risk of harm when he denied having anything sharp on him.

One officer subsequently injured his hand in retrieving the offensive weapon from Brennan’s trouser pocket.

Procurator fiscal depute Abbas Ali told the court that staff raised the alarm after “a male was seen acting suspiciously” on the afternoon of November 20, 2019.

He said: “Police attended at the hospital and observed  Brennan.

“After discussions with members of staff, they discovered there had been thefts from the hospital canteen.

“He was approached and detained for the purposes of a search for stolen property.

“He was asked if he had anything sharp, he denied it.

“Police then recovered from him a red-handled screwdriver from his pocket, which was pointed upwards.

“This caused the police officer to cut his hand.”

When arrested and taken into custody, Brennan told police: “I found it on the bus.”

Brennan pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing the offensive weapon in a public place, namely the RAH, without reasonable excuse or lawful

He also admitted a charge of recklessly or culpably placing a police officer at risk of harm by refusing to state he had the weapon on him.

Defence agent Kenneth McGowan said his client, of Braehead, Bonhill, admitted it was a “serious matter given the nature of the charges and locus of where the offence took

He said: “He is no stranger to the courts and has a schedule of previous convictions, including periods of detention in respect of analogous offending.

“That he had consumed street Valium and alcohol was a factor in the circumstances.

“It was an error of judgement in his state of intoxication where he failed to respond to the police officer.”

Sheriff Tom McCartney told Brennan he was handing him a community-based punishment as an “alternative to

He said: “The only reason you are not going to prison today is because your serious offending happened quite a long time ago, however, if this had happened in the last ten years, I would have had no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence.”

He placed him under mandatory supervision of the local authority for one year and ordered him to perform 120 hours of unpaid

He was also ordered to attend alcohol and drug addiction treatment sessions for the same period.

Daily Record – Paisley