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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Paramedic attackers face custody
Appeal court
The sentence was quashed by appeal judges in Edinburgh
Two men who escaped detention for an attack on paramedics now face custodial sentences after appeal judges ruled their punishment was too lenient.

Paul Thomson, 18, and Stuart Dick, 21, were given community service and probation for the assault in Glasgow.

That sentence was quashed after the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled it did not act as a deterrent or reflect the seriousness of the crime.

The pair will return to court to be sentenced at a later date.

Thomson, from the Thornliebank area of Glasgow, and Dick, who now lives in East Kilbride, were sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court last November.

We consider that on any view the sentences failed adequately to reflect the gravity of these offences or to serve to deter such assaults
Lord Gill

They had admitted assaulting paramedics Stephen Rutherford and Scott McLeod in June 2005.

The ambulance workers were attacked as they tried to help one of the men's friends, who had collapsed in Thornliebank.

Mr Rutherford, 38, was repeatedly punched and kicked and hit with a belt to his severe injury, while Mr McLeod, 37, was punched, kicked and struck with a torch.

Despite the assaults they were able to drive the patient to hospital, where they were treated for their own injuries.

Politicians and unions criticised the decision of Sheriff Deirdre MacNeill QC not to impose a custodial sentence.

Unprovoked assaults

The Crown appealed on the grounds that the punishment was too lenient.

The appeal was considered by the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, sitting with Lord Macfadyen and Lord Nimmo Smith.

Delivering the appeal court's ruling, Lord Gill said: "We consider that on any view the sentences failed adequately to reflect the gravity of these offences or to serve to deter such assaults.

They were entirely unprovoked, senseless acts committed on individuals serving the public in their responsible and difficult jobs
Advocate depute Dorothy Bain

"They committed unprovoked assaults on two members of the emergency services, in one case to severe injury and in the other to injury, when they were attempting to treat an unconscious patient."

Advocate depute Dorothy Bain had argued the sentences did not reflect "the need to protect members of the emergency services from attacks of this nature".

She said the sheriff did not give "due weight" to the seriousness of the assaults.

"They were entirely unprovoked, senseless acts committed on individuals serving the public in their responsible and difficult jobs," she added.


SEE ALSO:
Probation for 999 crew attackers
08 Nov 05 |  Scotland


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