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Ashford man jailed for assaulting paramedic at William Harvey Hospital


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A man has been jailed after assaulting a paramedic in a hospital.

Leon Chatfield was arrested after attacking the emergency worker at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

The paramedic was assaulted at the William Harvey Hospital.Picture: Paul Amos
The paramedic was assaulted at the William Harvey Hospital.Picture: Paul Amos

Police were called in the morning of Tuesday, February 15 when the paramedic was assaulted.

Chatfield, 24, left the hospital but was tracked down on the same day, and was charged with assaulting an emergency worker.

The Hunter Close resident admitted the charge at Folkestone Magistrates' Court, and was jailed for eight weeks earlier this month, as well as being ordered to pay a £200 victim compensation fine.

The sentence has been welcomed by the ambulance service, which says it has seen an increase in reported violence and aggression over the last three years.

Reported case numbers rose from 584 in 2019, to 921 last year – an increase of more than 50%.

This included a total of 287 physical assaults, with drugs and alcohol reported as the most common aggravating factor, followed by mental health.

Ambulance workers have seen an increase in assaults over the last three years. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ambulance workers have seen an increase in assaults over the last three years. Picture: Barry Goodwin

South East Coast Ambulance service's Violence Reduction Officer, Dave Monk said the force "will not tolerate violence or aggression towards staff".

"The fact this resulted in a custodial sentence shows that the courts are taking assaults on emergency workers seriously," he added.

"It is not OK for staff to come to work and be subjected to these types of behaviours.

"We will do all we can to pursue suspects through the criminal justice system and we encourage anyone who is subjected to violence or aggression of any kind to report it so we those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”

Acting Detective Inspector Ian Watkins, of Kent Police's East Kent Vulnerability Investigation Team, said: “Emergency service workers have a right to do their job helping the public without fear of violence and assaults of this kind are completely unacceptable. I hope the message from this case is clear: Anyone who assaults a member of any emergency service faces robust action.”

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