Paramedic assaulted by drink driver as he assisted at crash scene

Accused lunged and pushed, causing ambulance paramedic to fall back against inside of the car door
Paramedic assaulted by drink driver as he assisted at crash scene

An ambulance paramedic was assaulted by a drink driver he was assisting at the scene of a car crash.

Stephen McCarthy, age 47, of Brackenwood, Rathpeacon, Co Cork, was never in trouble before and has pleaded guilty to the assault on the paramedic as well as drink driving and dangerous driving.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the defendant had difficulties in his life at the time of this incident but he had taken responsibility for his actions.

He has written letters of apology to the paramedic and to the mother and daughter from the other car who had to be taken hospital by ambulance from the scene with non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident at the centre of the Cork District Court case occurred at around 6pm on September 5, 2020, after gardaí went to a road traffic collision on the northbound carriageway of the N20 in the townland of Killeens.

“A motorist was driving toward Blarney when he observed a dark BMW travelling in the wrong direction towards him. He took evasive action, veered to the left and as he did, the BMW swerved into the overtaking lane and collided with another car driven by a woman with her teenage daughter.

“They were removed by ambulance to CUH with non-life threatening injuries.

“He failed a roadside breath rest and was arrested.

A paramedic was assaulted by Stephen McCarthy when he was checking him for any injuries.

"The paramedic entered the space between the open car door and the car itself to ask questions.

"Without warning, Stephen McCarthy lunged and pushed the paramedic with force causing him to fall back against the inside of the car door,” Sgt Davis said.

Mr Buttimer said the nature of the assault was an aggressive push rather than anything else but he added: “It is unacceptable behaviour. It was in the context of this man being extremely intoxicated and he was also disoriented.”

Judge Kelleher said: “He was out on a public road and mowing down people coming in the opposite direction.”

Mr Buttimer said: “He did not mow them down.”

Judge Kelleher said:

Well he did mow them down.

Mr Buttimer said that prior to this occurring in September 2020, the defendant had undertaken residential treatment for his drink problem but he slipped and went back on the drink for a short period around the time of the incident at Killeens.

“He is truly remorseful for his behaviour. I do appreciate that he is at risk of custody. Equally there are substantial mitigating factors,” Mr Buttimer said.

Judge Kelleher said: “He attended Bruree and it is said there was a relapse. A custodial sentence is obviously on the cards but I will get a probation report.”

Judge Kelleher adjourned sentencing until September 23 for that purpose.

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