Ambo left traumatised after shocking sexual assault
AN IPSWICH court has heard how a paramedic was left traumatised after being sexually assaulted in the back of an ambulance while treating a patient's injuries.
The drunken offender this week claimed to have no memory of his actions.
Daniel Kirk Kennedy, 34, a concreter from Redbank Plains, pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court to sexually assaulting the female paramedic on Wednesday August 14. He also admitted to breaching a probation order.
Magistrate Kurt Fowler found Kennedy had been grossly intoxicated and had received serious injuries prior to being picked up by the ambulance, but his actions warranted a jail sentence.
He also took into account medical evidence of Kennedy's mental health issues, including schizophrenia, and ordered he should not serve actual time behind bars.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Dave Shelton said Kennedy was found injured at Goodna with a broken ankle and fractured eye socket.
He was taken to Ipswich Hospital by ambulance.
The court heard that during the trip, he reached over and groped the paramedic, saying I want to be under you, I want to ---k you. The victim moved away from him and police were called.
Sen-Const Shelton said when spoken to at the hospital, the paramedic was distressed, crying and clearly traumatised.
"Intoxication is not an excuse for the assault," he said.
"A clear message needs to be sent out that denounces such conduct."
Police sought a jail sentence of eight to 10 months, with Sen-Const Shelton submitting that Kennedy should serve 50 per cent, due to the aggravating feature of the victim being assaulted while at work. Kennedy was on an 18-month probation order for previous offences, and had a prior conviction for assault while intoxicated.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough detailed his client's mental health issues, including anxiety and schizophrenia.
Mr Fairclough said Kennedy's criminal history was dated and mostly related to dishonesty or public nuisance offences, although he was dealt with in January for an assault while intoxicated.
He told the court the sexual assault was of short duration.
Mr Fairclough sought a suspended jail term to allow Kennedy to continue to seek professional help.
Mr Fowler said the probation order had been imposed by a Brisbane court on charges of going armed to cause fear, and possession of a knife in public place.
He said the sexual assault placed paramedics in a difficult and unattractive position given the physical closeness of their work when treating people.
By default, Mr Fowler said, one of the crew members was placed in a very vulnerable position at the rear of the ambulance vehicle.
"Protection is clearly warranted for people serving the community, who by the very nature of of their work are placing themselves at risk," Mr Fowler said.
"The default position is they should not be sexually assaulted."
Mr Fowler told Kennedy the paramedic was doing her professional work and endeavouring to provide care to him and his significant injuries.
He again recounted what Kennedy said and did, and detailed what was contained in a medical report about his health issues.
Kennedy was convicted and sentenced to eight months' jail, with Mr Fowler saying he was not satisfied that he should serve any of the sentence after consideration of the context it occurred in, his significant injuries, and mental health diagnosis.
The sentence was suspended for a period of 18 months.
He was fined $400 for breach of the earlier court order. The probation order will continue.
Mr Fowler told Kennedy there was no indication on whether he had issued an apology, which was quite disappointing: "It is a matter for you if you want to apologise in writing".