Man prosecuted after spitting at and punching our ambulance crew

Man prosecuted after spitting at and punching our ambulance crew

Man in handcuffs with hands behind back

A 33-year old man has been given a five-month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to spitting at an ambulance technician and punching them in May 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Yates pleaded guilty to the assault of an emergency worker after CCTV was made available showing the attack.

Yates punched and spat at the EMAS technician while he was receiving care in the back of an ambulance when being transported to hospital.

He received the five-month suspended sentence, has to wear an electronic tag with curfew, and must pay the staff member compensation.

Mark Ward, Accredited Security Management Specialist at EMAS, said:

"We have a zero tolerance approach to any level of abuse or assault against our staff. Our staff work hard every day to deliver the best possible care to the public we serve. Actions like this make their job even harder and we will always take action where we can."

George Reid, Lead Security Management Specialist at EMAS, said:

"Following an investigation by the police and utilisation of CCTV from an EMAS vehicle, this individual was able to be prosecuted for his actions, which highlights how vital this footage can be in protecting our staff.

At EMAS, we continue to support the  #WorkWithoutFear campaign to help highlight the impact abuse has on NHS ambulance staff and to help prevent and reduce violence against them.

Every day last year, a staggering 32 ambulance staff were abused or attacked. One in five of those reported incidents of attacks and abuse were against ambulance crews and control room staff in the Midlands and East of England.

The biggest rise in attacks and abuse came in the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when assaults jumped up by 23% compared with the year before.