A Derry paramedic who was assaulted by a man he was giving medical assistance to, had to jump over a stretcher to escape when the man attacked him.
Derry Magistrates court heard on Wednesday that Sean Paul Fahy of Glenowen Park became aggressive towards the paramedic who was treating him at 6am on February 16 last.
The court was told the paramedic was punched three times in the face and headbutted and had to jump over a stretcher to get away.
In the course of the assault the paramedic suffered swollen lips, bleeding, cuts, two fractured teeth and numbness to the face.
Fahy’s solicitor said his client realised how serious an offence this was, especially given the profession of injured party, and he realised that the court would be considering a custodial sentence.
“I don’t want to take away from what my client did,” he said. “But that night Mr Fahy had been the victim of an assault and prior to the ambulance arriving he had suffered significant blood loss from a wound to the head.
“He needed two stitches to the head after being punched to the head repeatedly. He was not in the best state himself when he did what he did,” he added.
“This was completely out of character.”
A letter of reference was given to the court as well as a letter Fahy (24), had written to the paramedic.
District Judge Barney McElholm asked whether the letter had been sent to the injured party, however he was told that it had not been posted as it was part of the defendant’s bail conditions that he could not contact the paramedic.
“The remorse my client has shown is genuine,” said his solicitor.
“He has now voluntarily engaged with the addiction services.”
The District Judge said there was a letter in court from Fahy’s social worker who considered him to be a decent man who had gone off the rails.
He sentenced him to eight months in prison suspended for three years.
“If you are back in court for any violent offence the eight months in prison will be your starting point,” he said.
Mr McEholm asked that the letter the defendant had written be passed on to the paramedic.
He also ordered that the defendant pay the paramedic £600 compensation, £300 of which must be paid within the next seven days.