Sex attack on paramedic as she helped teen in Burnley

A TEENAGER who sexually attacked a paramedic when he was on a drunken night out in Burnley, has been spared immediate jail.
Burnley Crown Court.Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

The town’s crown court was told how Matthew Owen (18) had twice puckered up his lips and tried to kiss the victim and groped her from behind in an ambulance.

The defendant had also tried to hug the victim and another woman in the street during the incident, last autumn.

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The hearing was told Owen and his friends had been come from Fleetwood for a night on the town and the defendant was in such a drunken state, the paramedics were trying to help him outside a club.

Just before the assault, his friends were causing trouble and asking the victim and her male colleague to give them a lift back to Fleetwood in the ambulance.

Jobless Owen, of Winfield Avenue, Fleetwood, admitted sexual assault. He was given eight months in detention, suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work.

The defendant must also pay a £100 victim surcharge and £200 compensation and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

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Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said, by 10-45pm on his night out, the defendant was in such a state, the paramedics went to help him outside a club. The victim was part-way through a 12-hour shift.

The defendant was sitting on the ground, wrapped in a blanket. He was very drunk, possibly under the influence of drugs as well and the victim crouched beside him.

Owen puckered up his lips and leaned forward to try to kiss her. She told him to behave himself.

Owen’s friends then started to cause trouble outside the ambulance and the defendant approached a woman with his arms outstretched in an attempt to hug her. She told him to behave as well. He then tried to do the same to the paramedic, but she moved away and got back in the ambulance.

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Miss Statham said Owen was now in the ambulance and the victim had her back to him. She felt something on her buttock as the defendant touched her there and on her private parts.

She moved out of the way and Owen tried to kiss her again. The victim got out of the ambulance and police were called,

The prosecutor said the paramedic told officers after the assault she felt tearful and could not complete her shift.

She said she was desperate to have a shower even though she was fully clothed.

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Miss Statham added: “She said she is in a professional role, providing a service to the public and doesn’t expect to be sexually assaulted.”

The prosecutor said the defendant was arrested and questioned and said he could not remember anything because he had been so drunk. He told officers he had had about 11 lagers, but claimed his drinks could have been spiked.

Lynn Whaites (defending) said his behaviour had been extremely stupid, foolish and immature. She said: “It is behaviour of which he is deeply ashamed, so ashamed he hasn’t been able to tell his mother.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt told Owen, who has a record for violence: “You know perfectly well that paramedics do a very, very difficult job. Indeed, they use their expertise to go and assist those who need it, including drunks like you. They go to their help, they don’t judge people.”

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The judge said it was “imperative “paramedics felt safe carrying out their duties.

Judge Lunt told Owen: “Still, you don’t seem to get how serious it is and how devastating it was for her. A lot of people get drunk. They don’t sexually assault women.” She added: “I’m worried you actually have any remorse. It seems to me you feel sorry for yourself and not the victim.”