Patient hit paramedic who came to his aid

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A paramedic has told how he and a colleague were the victims of a “terrifying” assault by a man they were called out to assist.

The paramedic, who does not wish to be named, relived the ordeal after attending the sentencing of James Thomson, 30 at Lancaster Magistrates Court.

Thomson, of Arkholme House, Heaton Road, Lancaster, admitted assault on the day a trial was scheduled and was last Friday given a 12 month community order with supervision, an 8pm–6am curfew for 70 days and ordered to pay £150 compensation.

The paramedic told how the drama unfolded at around 10.30pm one night early in July this year, when he and a female colleague were called to a property in Lancaster following a report that Thomson had been assaulted.

But when they arrived, Thomson, who was one of a number of people at the property, turned on them.

“He attacked us and we defended ourselves, as you would,” said the paramedic, who suffered facial, shoulder and leg injuries.

“It was a terrifying situation and it lasted a matter of minutes, although it felt like much longer.”

Fortunately, two police officers had also attended because of the report that Thomson had been assaulted, and they were able to restrain him.

The paramedic suffered soft tissue injuries and it was he and his colleague who ended up being taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, although both left hospital in the early hours of the following morning.

He was off work for six weeks and his colleague also had to take several weeks off.

“The assault restricted my mobility and what I could do with my injured arm,” he said.

“I could not lift or carry and I could not move my arm above my head.

“It made my feel angry that someone could ask for help like that and then turn on us.

“The assault not only meant we were off the road that night but for a few weeks afterways, so there was also a knock-on effect.

“I had never experienced anything like that before.

“I love my job and I did not affect me wanting to return to it, but it does make you think twice about situations.”

The man added that he was “happy” with Thomson’s sentence.

“It sends out a message that this kind of assault will not be tolerated,” he said.

Director of emergency services for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Derek Cartwright, said: “We fully welcome this sentence and hope it sends out a very clear message to anyone who assaults our crews, either verbally or physically, that they face the possibility of prosecution.

“We go to great lengths to ensure our staff can treat patients in an environment that is safe and secure.

“The protection of our staff is a priority of ours and we will continue to work on a number of campaigns and initiatives designed to keep them safe.”