Spit­ting at para­medic leads to a $1500 fine

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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