Man jailed for beating paramedics who were trying to help him in Hitchin

PUBLISHED: 12:12 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 25 September 2019

Paramedic Brenda Fox was beaten while responding to a call in Hitchin. Picture: Courtesy of Kerry Fox

Paramedic Brenda Fox was beaten while responding to a call in Hitchin. Picture: Courtesy of Kerry Fox

Archant

A man has been jailed for 10 months after assaulting two paramedics in Hitchin, leaving one of them with bruising all over their body.

Paramedics Brenda Fox and Ailsa White were responding to reports of an intoxicated man who had passed out in Hitchin's Sun Street in the early hours of June 16 after being ejected from The Snug bar.

The assault by patient John Murphy - of Maidstone Road in London - left Brenda with a black eye and bruising all over her body, and she is believed to have lost consciousness during the assault.

Murphy, 42, was sentenced to 10 months in prison when he appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, having previously pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker.

Brenda's daughter, Kerry, said: "I'm glad he got a custodial sentence and didn't just walk free.

"It shows other ambulance staff that incidents like this are not acceptable."

Kerry said the incident left her mum unable to sleep and suffering from flashbacks.

Brenda has been a paramedic for more than 20 years, but Kerry was afraid it would force her to quit the job she loves, especially as this was not the first time she has been attacked while on duty.

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Kerry said her mum was already receiving counselling for a prior assault which involved being verbally abused and pushed to the floor in Lister Hospital's Emergency Department in Stevenage.

Days after the June assault, Kerry told the Comet: "I'm angry and I'm heartbroken.

"It makes me so mad how emergency service workers get treated for trying to help people and I think it's about time the government starts supporting them and supplying them with some form of defence."

Doctor Tom Davis, medical director of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: "This was a very distressing incident for our staff and we are grateful to the police and the courts for taking this seriously.

"It is unacceptable that ambulance staff are subjected to violence when they are trying to do their best for patients.

"We hope this custodial sentence will stop this man and others from being aggressive towards our staff in the future.

"Our ambulance service will always support staff in pursuing any deliberate acts of violence or aggression towards them and will push for the highest possible action to be taken."

Commenting on the case, investigating officer DC Richard Rob said: "It is outrageous that emergency service workers should be subjected to this kind of attack when their only motivation is to help and assist.

"Jon Murphy claims to have no memory of his actions that night and has shown genuine remorse. However this kind of behaviour cannot be allowed to go unpunished and it is right that he should receive a custodial sentence. I hope this sends a clear message that any kind of attacks on emergency service staff will not be tolerated."

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