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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Paramedic struck off for net scam
A former paramedic accused of trying to sell medical equipment on internet auction site eBay told a hearing he did it to pay a child support debt.

Thomas Wildman, 34, offered to sell life-saving equipment including a defibrillator and oxygen masks.

He has been struck off his professional register and will not be able to reapply to join again for five years.

"I did not know which way to turn," he said in a statement to the Health Professions Council hearing in London.

'Gross misconduct'

The statement, which was faxed to the court in Mr Wildman's absence, said: "I had recieved letters from the Child Support Agency demanding excessive amounts of money and it was also Christmas."

Mr Wildman, who has already resigned from the Staffordshire Ambulance Service, was not represented at the hearing on Friday but said he thought his resignation and police caution for theft and deception was punishment enough.

I couldn't do it, I sent an e-mail to say the item was no longer auctionable
Statement from Mr Wildman

"I'm sorry for what I have done and I know it was wrong but Staffordshire Ambulance Service are determined to destroy my life in any way they can," he said.

Emily Carter, on behalf of the council, said Mr Wildman, of Worcester Road, Oldbury, West Midlands, would have been sacked for gross misconduct by the ambulance service had he not resigned first.

A company which manufactures gas cylinders first spotted one of its oxygen cylinders for sale on eBay in January and alerted the police.

Bids had reached 466.86 for the defibrillator and 102 for a pulse oximeter.

Excess kit

The equipment was leased by BOC Medical Gases and was therefore unable to be sold.

Officers traced the auctioneer, named as Steve Milligan, to Mr Wildman's address.

In a police interview he admitted taking the cyclinder and other equipment from the stores at Lichfield ambulance station.

A defibrillator and pulse oximeter had been taken from a community paramedic officer's car in Burton.

Mr Wildman said the other equipment he tried to auction was excess kit from when he worked for the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

No equipment was handed over to any of the internet bidders.

"I couldn't do it," he said. "I sent an e-mail to say the item was no longer auctionable."

Ms Carter told the hearing he was having difficulty making ends meet with considerable financial commitments to the CSA in relation to his children.

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