Paramedic headbutted in drunken attack

Wigan and Leigh Courthouse
Wigan and Leigh Courthouse

Ambulance chiefs have blasted a drunk who headbutted one of their paramedics.

Kevin Smith lunged at emergency worker Richard Harrison who was trying help him into the back of an ambulance after a fall.

And Smith, whose actions were also branded “disgraceful” by magistrates, seemed so resigned to being sent to prison that he turned up to court with a huge duffle bag and rucksack full of possessions.

But Wigan justices granted Smith a second chance, passing a suspended sentence after he admitted to assaulting an emergency worker.

The court heard a 999 call was made by Smith’s mother who said her 38-year-old son was drunk and had fallen over.

Mr Harrison attended, carried out checks on Smith, told him he needed to go to hospital and began helping him into the ambulance.

It was then that Smith, of Telford Crescent, Leigh, began to resist and headbutted the paramedic.

Mr Harrison hit his emergency button before a struggle ensued. Police arrived and led Smith away in handcuffs.

Defending, Bob Toppin said Smith had drunk a full bottle of vodka in the hours before the shocking attack, and that alcohol had blighted the defendant’s life.

Urging the bench not to send him to prison, Mr Toppin added: “He is a very pleasant, articulate man. He has turned up at court today sober, willing and able to respond to what the probation service are able to offer. Prison would only paper over the cracks.”

Smith told the magistrates: “I don’t even remember what happened. I am embarrassed and ashamed. I need this help going forward to combat this issue in my life. It’s opened my eyes, I need to put a stop to this. I’m losing everything because of it.”

The chair of the bench told Smith: “This was an unprovoked attack on an emergency worker, who was called to help you by your own mother. It’s disgraceful, isn’t it?”

Smith was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must also undergo a 12-month alcohol treatment programme, 20 days’ rehabilitation activity and must pay £400 in costs and compensation.

A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service said: “Our ambulance crews work tirelessly to help others and should be able to do so without fear of assault.

“Nobody deserves to be treated this way and we absolutely do not tolerate violence or aggression of any kind towards our staff, and hope this verdict sends out a very clear message to the public that this will be acted upon and can lead to prosecution. We praise our police colleagues for such swift action in bringing this man to justice.”