An injured man who repeatedly spat at ambulance staff who were trying to help him has been jailed for six months.
William Gregory, 36, had been drinking alcohol when he was found collapsed on a grass verge next to a row of houses in Newbridge Avenue, Sittingbourne, on Monday 5th September. He also appeared to have removed a plaster cast from his foot.
Members of the public were concerned for his welfare and dialled 999, resulting in Kent Police officers and South East Coast Ambulance Service clinicians attending the scene.
As they tried to help him, Gregory turned violent and threatened to fight the officers before spitting at the ambulance crew.
He was arrested but continued to lash out and spit after being placed on a stretcher so they could examine his injured foot. A spit guard was then placed over Gregory’s head but he continued to try to spit and bite those present through the material.
Gregory, of Marine Parade, Sheerness, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting an emergency worker when he appeared before Medway magistrates on Friday 23 September. He also admitted stealing £54 worth of goods from B&M Bargains, Queenborough, whilst on bail.
The six-month sentence also includes the activation of an eight-week suspended sentence for an unrelated offence.
Investigating officer PC Lauren Yates told SFM News: ‘Spitting at anyone is an abhorrent thing to do but to target someone who is trying to help you is completely unacceptable. Our colleagues at South East Coast Ambulance Service save lives every day and deserve our utmost respect and thanks. The fact they continued attempting to examine William Gregory even whilst he was spitting at them shows how dedicated they are to their jobs and how dreadful his actions were. I hope this outcome sends a strong message to anyone else who might consider assaulting an emergency worker in the future that they risk being put behind bars."
SECAmb Security Manager Dave Monk added: "‘This individual’s actions were disgusting. We welcome the jail sentence and promise to continue to work with our police colleagues to hold individuals to account for their actions. Our staff deserve to come to work without the fear of being assaulted and abused. We will never allow our staff to feel that this kind of behaviour is acceptable and part of the job."