Attacked… by the man he went to help — (This is South Devon)

SSRI Ed note: Man on antidepressants, no history with law drinks, falls from his bicycle, attqacks bystanders who stop to try tp help him, is charged.

Original article no longer available

This is South Devon

Wednesday, January 07, 2009, 09:16

A GOOD Samaritan motorist endured the torment of medical tests and was left injured after being attacked by the man he tried to help, a court heard.

Matthew Janes, of Marl Park in Harbertonford, appeared before Torbay magistrates yesterday accused of assaulting a member of the public and a paramedic.

Janes, aged 24, pleaded guilty to both offences when magistrates heard he had been drunk on the day of the incident.

The court was told Janes was riding a bicycle in Totnes when he came off. He was then seen in the road by motorist Eric Simmonds.

Sean Tipton, prosecuting, said: “The motorist got a first aid kit from his car and tried to help the man, who had a laceration above his eye. It was then that it became obvious that the man had been drinking.”

The court heard South Western Ambulance Service staff attended the incident and saw Janes was bleeding from a head wound.

They decided he should go to hospital, but Janes was reluctant to get on the trolley.

It was said that he threatened paramedic Derek Lewis with violence and then attacked him, knocking off his glasses.

Janes also tried head-butting and kicking out at his rescuers. Mr Lewis and Mr Simmonds ended up struggling with him, and Mr Simmonds was cut.

Police then arrived, arrested Janes and took him to the police station for interview.

Mr Tipton added: “Because it was known that the defendant has been involved in drug misuse, the motorist has had to have injections and a blood test, which was negative. Mr Simmonds still has a mark from the incident that is prominent.”

The court heard Janes had been drinking heavily throughout the day, but the violence was out of character.

Nigel Butt, mitigating, said: “He had no previous convictions at the time of the incident ­ only a warning about small amounts of cannabis.

“We’re not talking about Mr Janes being a heroin addict or a cocaine user.

“He can’t recall the incident, but it was initiated by his fear of hospitals. His father and grandfather died in hospital. It was when he was told he’d have to go to hospital his mood changed.

“Also, the head injury would have been a factor, and he’s been suffering with depression since the death of his father and grandfather.

“Consequently he was on the heaviest dose of an anti-depression drug.”

Janes was given unconditional bail while a pre-sentence report is drawn up by the Probation Service. He is due back at Torbay Magistrates’ Court on February 4.

A South Western Ambulance Service spokesman later said: “Our staff leave their families to treat other people and their families when they need it most, and they should be able to do that without the fear of being physically abused or shouted at or spat on.

“We will always help the police prosecute anyone who does assault our staff, and we hope the courts will support us and the police for being brave enough to follow events through the judicial service.”