Spitting at paramedic leads to a $1500 fine
A CANNON Valley woman who spat at a Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) paramedic, has been fined $1500 and ordered to pay $500 in compensation costs.
Candice Rebekah Stevens pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting a public officer in the Proserpine Magistrate’s court on Monday.
On March 30 at 2.29am, QAS paramedics were called to Steven’s Cannon Valley address by a taxi driver who picked the 22-year-old hairdresser up from Airlie Beach and had concerns about her welfare.
On arriving at Stevens’ address, paramedics found her lying in the driveway. Believing she had passed out they attempted to treat her but the court heard she suddenly rose to her feet and began acting aggressively towards them. Police prosecutor Elizabeth Cassells said Stevens spat at the paramedics a number of times causing them to retreat for their own safety. The female paramedic found remnants of the spittle in her hair and on her shirt.
Police were called to the scene but were unable to talk with Stevens due to her level of intoxication. They returned the next day at 5.45pm when Stevens told them she couldn’t remember the incident. Duty lawyer Sherrie Meade said Stevens was “disgusted and appalled” when police told her what she had done. She said Stevens formally apologised and sent flowers to the affected paramedic.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said in his experience Stevens’ behaviour was indicative of something more than alcohol, “so it’s either someone’s slipped something [in your drink] or you’ve taken something”.
“[But] at the end of the day, everyone has to be responsible for themselves especially when they go out and drink alcohol,” he said.
Mr Stjernqvist said it was a sad reflection on modern society that people could turn on paramedics who were there to assist them and he warned Stevens this was an offence that could lead to a prison term. Nonetheless, he accepted she was not in control of her actions “effectively oblivious to what you were doing – automated if you like”.
He also said Stevens was a rare example of someone who was full of “bone fide and genuine remorse” as evidenced by her apology and the gift of flowers.