25th Sep, 2018

Ambulance service calls on tougher sentences for those that assault staff

WEST Midlands Ambulance Service has called for tougher sentences to be handed to those that assault staff.

The call follows an incident in which paramedic Amy Holtom had her wrist broken and suffered from cuts and bruising to her lower leg after being kicked by a patient, who was wearing steel toe capped footwear.

Adam George James was charged with actual bodily harm and common assault.

He was later sentenced to a 14-month custodial sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service, and pay a victim surcharge to the courts of £140.

The incident took place in July last year after Mr James was found unconscious in Birmingham.

Ambulance staff started pre-hospital clinical support, during which Mr James regained consciousness and started using foul language towards the crew.

He later struck both clinicians with his feet, resulting in both crew members need hospital treatment.

Amy Holtom slammed the Mr James’ sentence and said it show how little the court thinks of the situation paramedics put themselves in.

She added: “Anyone else would have been looking at time in jail, but yet again ambulance staff have been let down by the legal system.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service trust chief executive Anthony Marsh, who requested an appeal against Mr James’ sentence, said: “I find it hugely frustrating that so many of my staff have been let down by the sentences given.

“As well as the pain, suffering and emotional scarring of these staff, the public lost the services of two highly trained ambulance clinicians for a total of eight weeks.

“Those shifts had to be covered which meant overtime and additional cost to the NHS at a time when budgets are already stretched.

“The legal system is there to protect emergency workers who risk their lives for others and it is their expectation that the courts will ensure the full force of the law is applied in such cases.”

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