3 June 2015 - Sentence Welcomed following Paramedic Assault

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has welcomed the sentence given to a man following an unprovoked attack on a Paramedic.

The offender, Mark Zoth was charged with assault with battery at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on 28 May 2015 and received a 18 week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The attack took place outside the offender’s home address on Snowden Avenue, Blackburn and involved Senior Paramedic, Carl Potter, who had responded to a 999 call to attend to the 27 year old.

Carl, who was first at the scene in a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV), was subjected to a brutal attack during which he was grabbed, pinned against the RRV and the offender had attempted to sink his teeth into his shoulder.

Carl Potter said: “Although I did manage to escape without injury, it was a terrifying ordeal and I am really pleased with the outcome of the prosecution. I hope that by highlighting this incident, it raises awareness of the serious consequences of causing harm to our staff.”

Between April 2014 and March 2015, 403 physical assaults were reported towards NWAS staff with alcohol or drugs listed as the aggravating factor for over 60% of these attacks.

Carl continues: “The support that I received from NWAS and the Magistrates’ Court was fantastic which made the process hassle-free, particularly as I had never been to court before.”

In addition to the sentence, the offender must complete 25 days of work with the probation service and 50 hours unpaid community service.  He was also ordered to pay £330 compensation to the victim.

Derek Cartwright, NWAS Director of Operations said: “Our ambulance crews work hard to help other people and save lives, it is disgraceful that so many of them are subject to such vicious and unprovoked attacks each year.

“As a Trust, we always support staff members to press charges against anybody who has caused them unlawful harm and offer counselling to help them come to terms with being a victim of crime which can affect people both mentally and physically.

“The impact of attacks on ambulance crews also has a wider effect on patient care. Staff cannot respond to patients who urgently need our help if they are having to provide statements to the police or receive treatment themselves. Assaults on ambulance crews means less resources on the road and less staff to respond – attackers such as this one should consider how they would feel if there was a serious delay in attending to one of their relatives or friends as a result of crews having to be stood down.”