Paramedics in court accused of failing to give ‘reasonable care’

Royal Court. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (37062542) (38351788)

TWO paramedics have gone on trial accused of failing to take “reasonable care” of a 39-year-old patient who died while he was with them.

John Sutherland and Tom Le Sauteur deny breaching health and safety rules.

The pair were sent to a flat in Trinity on the evening of 18 March 2022 after the resident called 999, the Royal Court heard.

A recording of his phone call was played to the jury yesterday – the patient is heard reporting that he took an overdose and giving very indistinct answers when asked his address and age.

Interviews with the two paramedics were also read in court, with both stating that when they arrived the patient was sitting upright and appeared alert but was surrounded by empty beer cans.

Mr Sutherland said: “We asked how we could help him but he was incoherent, and there was evidence of alcohol consumption around the flat.

“He became aggressive. We told him we just wanted to help, but he got up and raised his fists in an aggressive manner and stood in a boxing stance. He threw three or four punches but they didn’t connect.

“One minute he was happy and the next minute he was trying to fight us.”

Mr Le Sauteur said in his interview that the patient showed “no signs of distress and no signs of breathing difficulties”, but added: “He had the speech of a very intoxicated person.

“He was behaving violently. He had to be taken to hospital but we needed police assistance.”

He said that after waiting 15 minutes they called the States police back to see how long they were likely to take.

“They said the police hadn’t been dispatched yet.”

After officers arrived, the patient began vomiting repeatedly and, despite help from the paramedics and police, he died.

A report two weeks later showed that he had suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest, and that alcohol and diazepam were found in his system.

The trial is expected to last two more days. Commissioner Sir John Saunders is presiding.

Jurats Jane Ronge and Michael Entwistle are sitting.

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