A man who assaulted two paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) has been given a 12-month community order and told to pay compensation.
Steven Clark kicked one crew member in the groin and punched the other in the nose when they tried to help him after he was found unconscious in St Andrew’s Street South in Bury St Edmunds in the early hours on Thursday 2 January.
The paramedics and a member of the public detained Clark, of Coppers Close, Bury St Edmunds, until the police arrived and arrested him.
The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker at Ipswich Magistrates Court the following day (3 January) and was sentenced to the community order.
As part of the order, he must also participate in rehabilitation activities for ten days.
Lester Burdiss, a Leading Operations Manager with EEAST who supported the crew following the assault, said:
“We would like to thank the police and the court for their swift action in this case.
“No-one should have to face abuse as part of their job, but when ambulance crews, call-handlers and other blue light staff – who are there to help people – are assaulted or abused, it’s totally unacceptable.”
EEAST launched its #DontChooseToAbuse campaign in response to statistics which shows that more than 1,000 incidents of abuse were reported by staff during 2017/18, including 252 physical assaults.
The campaign was relaunched in January 2019 following the introduction of the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill in November 2018, which doubled the penalties for assaulting ambulance crews and other blue-light workers.
Dorothy Hosein, Chief Executive added:
“We welcome the speed with which the police and court have dealt with this incident, and will continue to support our staff in reporting abuse and pressing for the strongest penalties.
“Our Don’t Choose to Abuse campaign reminds everyone that, although we often deal with people under very difficult circumstances, they still have a choice in how they behave – and the consequences of abusing our staff can be serious.”
For more information on EEAST’s Don’t Choose to Abuse campaign, go to www.eastamb.nhs.uk/your-service/campaigns/dont-choose-to-abuse.htm
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