Man jailed for assaulting paramedic who was trying to help him in Cork City

Defendant denied assault, claiming he was suffering an epileptic fit at the time but court told he was 'faking it'
Man jailed for assaulting paramedic who was trying to help him in Cork City

Accused told paramedic to get his hands off him and kicked him in the calf, court heard. File picture: Denis Minihane

A four-month sentence was imposed on a man who was convicted of assaulting an ambulance paramedic who went to his assistance when he was lying on the side of St Patrick’s Quay in Cork.

Judge Olann Kelleher, who heard the evidence in the contested case, imposed the jail term.

The paramedic was kicked on the leg by the man.

Sentencing of the accused man, Robert Harris, had been put back following his conviction at the end of a contested hearing.

Judge Kelleher said as he imposed sentence: “The paramedic was only there to help him.” 

Solicitor Frank Buttimer acknowledged the accused had engaged only to a limited degree with the probation service.

The case had gone to trial and the defendant denied an assault charge, claiming he was suffering an epileptic fit at the time.

However, the injured party, John McCarthy, said the defendant Robert Harris of Cork Simon Community, was “faking it”. 

Mr McCarthy, an ambulance paramedic, responded to a call on April 4, 2021, about a man having a seizure on St Patrick’s Quay.

Mr Harris was lying on his side. There was no seizure activity when we arrived. He was not unconscious. I put my hand on his chest. He gave me two kicks to the back of my leg on my calf. He told me to get my hands off him.

“There was no seizure activity. He was not confused and irritated. He was quite abusive and agitated. He did not want our help,” Mr McCarthy said.

The paramedic said he knew Robert Harris, who is aged about 50, and had assisted him several times before. He said the defendant was not having a seizure and was not unconscious but was faking this.

“He told me to get my hands off and gave me two kicks in the calf,” the injured party said.

Margaret Casey of the National Ambulance Service corroborated her colleague’s evidence.

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