Published: 16:15, 07 November 2017
A violent ambulance patient threatened the driver with a blade after she refused to give him a lift home, a court heard.
Robert Excell held a Stanley knife close to Kirsty Herriott’s leg while sitting in the South East Coast Ambulance Service vehicle.
The 34-year-old demanded she wait for him and transport him home after being treated for a wound at a clinic in Gillingham.
Prosecutor Edmund Fowler said Excell became agitated when Ms Herriott replied she had higher priority patients to deal with.
Despite being told a car had been booked for him, he became angrier, demanded “this girl” should take him and refused to leave the ambulance.
“He was told he could not hold a driver to ransom, at which point he took a Stanley knife with the blade extended an inch or so and very close to her leg,” said Mr Fowler.
“Sniggering in response to the ransom comment, he said ‘It’s not as if I couldn’t anyway’.”
Fearing she would be harmed, Ms Herriott then drove him home.
Excell, who dozed off in the dock at Maidstone Crown Court, admitted possessing a bladed article and common assault on March 24.
He also admitted burglary, attempted burglary and common assault in which he spat at a police officer, all committed on October 4 while he was on bail.
The court heard he was caught red-handed by police with a wheelie bin full of property stolen from a garden shed in Gillingham.
He was also holding a stolen mountain bike. He told Judge Philip Statman he planned to use it as his getaway transport.
Excell, of St Albans Close, Gillingham, was jailed for a total of 19-and-a-half months.
He has previous convictions for 50 offences, including two for possessing blades.
Keith Yardy, defending, said Excell’s life had been blighted by drugs.
Judge Statman said he accepted Excell was not a well man but jail was inevitable.
“You placed Kirsty Herriott, a public servant there to assist the community as a whole, in considerable fear for her safety,” he added.
After sentencing, South East Coast Ambulance Service security manager, Adam Graham, added: “We welcome the custodial sentence given to this individual.
"We will always take action against anyone who threatens or assaults any of our staff.
“This kind of behaviour can have a lasting effect on staff and they can require ongoing support.
“Of course, the huge majority of patients and members of the public know that this kind of behaviour is deplorable and would never think of hurting or threatening someone who saves lives and serves the community.
“Sadly there are a very small number of individuals who seem to think this is acceptable and we will always work to take action against them.”
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