Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:03 UK

Four sentenced over 999 assault

Sevenoaks Street, Grangetown, Cardiff
The crew were attacked in Sevenoaks Street in Grangetown, Cardiff

Four people who admitted involvement in a "frightening" incident in which two paramedics were attacked, have been given non-custodial sentences.

Sean Kempton, 22, and Cohen Riella, 18 were given community service after admitting public order charges in Grangetown, Cardiff, last November.

A 16-year-old was given a supervision at Cardiff Crown Court order.

The teenager the paramedics were trying to help was sent to youth court with a recommendation for a referral order.

The court heard the ambulance had been answering a 999 call to a drunken 16-year-old.

The youth, who is now 17, resisted being taken to hospital and his friends gathered around the ambulance and confronted the two-man crew, who were both assaulted.

Andrew Dobbinson, an ambulance worker for 24 years, told the trial he and his colleague had experience an "ugly, intimidating and frightening" few minutes when their vehicle was surrounded by about 10 people.

Witnesses

He said two youths were also inside the ambulance struggling with his colleague.

The prosecution said when police arrived they found the paramedics sitting in the back of their own vehicle. Both men had been hit and both were taken to hospital.

Five youths were originally charged with violent disorder but the trial collapsed when witnesses could not agree on who did what.

Nathan White, 19, was cleared after the evidence suggested he had acted as a peacemaker.

The other four admitted a lesser charge of disorderly conduct.

Community punishment

Sean Kempton and Cohen Riella were each ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

Mr Recorder Philip Marshall said all four defendants could consider themselves lucky.

He said the incident had been frightening and upsetting for the ambulance crew, who were going about their public duty.

If the more serious charge had been proved against them, they would all have received a custodial sentence, he said.

Grant Gordon, regional director of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, commended the crew members involved.

He said it was disappointing that the original charge had not been proved but the case sent a message that the trust would act against anyone who abused its staff.

"Although in this case the outcome could be described as 'disappointing' since the original charges were not upheld, I would reinforce the fact that this trust will support its staff who are assaulted or abused during the course of their duty, and will bring any perpetrator to task.

"It is unacceptable in any terms that ambulance staff are exposed to violence and aggression when trying to care for the sick and injured".

Trust Chief Executive, Alan Murray added further: "We will not tolerate assault or abuse of any kind towards our staff, and the public should know that we will not hesitate to pursue legal proceedings against those who do act in this way."




SEE ALSO
Four admit charges in 999 trial
22 May 08 |  South East Wales
Teen patient's 'paramedic attack'
19 May 08 |  South East Wales

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