You will recall in a post on this site that on 25 August 2011, an ambulance crew attended a patient at Kings Cross. During the transport to hospital the patient assaulted one of the attending paramedics. Police attended and the patient was arrested. The case was before the court on Friday 20 January 2012. The Magistrate, Ms Pat O’Shane, after hearing the evidence only of the assaulted paramedic, and not his partner, found in favour of the patient.
I welcome today’s decision by the Supreme Court to set aside that decision, dismiss the case and return the matter to the local court to be heard before a different magistrate. The law is there to protect all frontline paramedics and this decision vindicates our trust in the justice system.
I was angry at the outcome of the original case. On 30 July 2010, new protection for paramedics against being assaulted became legally binding. This legislation was to confirm to the community that verbal and physical assault would not be tolerated. All paramedics should know they can undertake their on-road clinical duties unhindered and appropriately protected against assault.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is to be applauded for appealing the original decision and I look forward to the case being re-heard at a later date.
It is absolutely paramount for all paramedics to report every incident of violence or aggression either verbal or physical. The Ambulance Service of NSW on record as stating it will pursue all individuals who cause harm to paramedics with the full force of the law.
See the ABC report here