A 31-year old man has been sentenced to twenty weeks in prison after spitting at an ambulance technician.
Dale Pickering, of Bishops Walk, Church Warsop, pleaded guilty to two counts of emergency worker assault and a further assault at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 26 May 2020.
The ambulance was called to Wood Lane in Warsop on Saturday 16 May, after a concerned member of the public spotted Pickering lying in the street.
Pickering became aggressive when the ambulance arrived and spat towards the ambulance technician. The two emergency workers took Pickering to his home address where he spat at another man and spat at the ambulance technician again, this time spitting in her face. He also repeatedly pushed the paramedic.
EMAS Ambulance Technician, Paula Page, who was responding with her paramedic husband Matthew from Kingsmill Ambulance Station, said: “We asked the patient if he could stop spitting by explaining the seriousness of passing on COVID-19 but he wouldn’t stop.
“I felt angry and upset that someone could treat myself and my husband in such a vile manner when all we were trying to do was help someone who needed our assistance.
“We could not continue to respond to other patients who may have needed us while we were dealing with this patient’s violent behaviour and then because we needed to help the police with their enquiries.
“Part of our role involves seeing people who’ve consumed a lot of alcohol or taken illegal drugs and they don’t always behave as themselves.”
Kelvin Langford, Local Security Management Specialist at EMAS, said: “Assaults on our staff are absolutely unacceptable and we take a zero-tolerance approach towards anyone who verbally or physically assaults them.
“Our frontline colleagues, as well as our team in our 999-control room, are here to help people, not to be assaulted, and they deserve to be treated with respect.
“We will continue to support any of our colleagues who are assaulted on the frontline while trying to help others and to work with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute those who abuse our colleagues.”
Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell of Nottinghamshire Police said: “As police officers we know what it’s like to respond to a report of an emergency only to be treated in this way.
“This was disgusting behaviour and I have every sympathy for my fellow emergency workers who had to go through this ordeal. I know the anxiety this must have caused them and the other man involved.
“That’s why we take these incidents so seriously and I’m pleased this outcome shows that assaulting emergency workers will not be tolerated.”
Pickering also pleaded guilty and was handed a further 20-week sentence, suspended for 18 months, in relation to two drink-driving offences and a further assault.
The first drink driving offence and the further assault happened in Bishops Walk, Church Warsop on 27 January, when Pickering was involved in a collision and got out and kicked the driver of the other car.
Pickering was also caught drink-driving in Bishops Walk on 17 February.
This conviction follows figures released on 20 May which revealed that Nottinghamshire Police has investigated 89 incidents of key workers being spat or coughed at since Friday 20 March.
Nottinghamshire Police has joined forces with other emergency services and key worker agencies for a campaign to highlight the issue. A video has been launched by doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, prison officers, firefighters and other frontline workers from across the county as they continue to work hard to spearhead the nationwide response to the outbreak.