A HAWICK woman who caused a disturbance in the accident and emergency department at Borders General Hospital has avoided a prison sentence at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

Forty-year-old Louise Boughen of Roxburghe Drive, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner during the early hours of December 27.

The court heard she had been taken to the casualty department around 1am with a head injury but was required to wait in a corridor as the department was busy.

Procurator fiscal Fraser Matheson said Boughen began to make a nuisance of herself by shouting and acting in an aggressive manner towards staff.

She told staff members they were disgusting and a disgrace and was constantly swearing at them.

Boughen also said they would all be sacked. Mr Matheson said Boughen was then moved into a room because of the disturbance she was causing as other staff were trying to treat a young child while another patient was receiving palliative care.

Boughen fell asleep but woke up at 3am when she became abusive again taking off observation equipment.

She eventually discharged herself and left the building ranting towards staff.

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick accepted the court would take a dim view of her behaviour.

He admitted it would merit a prison sentence but explained he did not think she would be able to handle custody due to her mental health problems. Sheriff Peter Paterson took this into account and instead deferred sentence until February 8 for good behaviour. 

But he warned Boughen that if there was any recurrence of the behaviour during the three-month period she would be sent to prison.