Lake Illawarra man 'rammed' paramedic

Paramedics George King (left) and Gary Snelson leave court after giving evidence yesterday.
Paramedics George King (left) and Gary Snelson leave court after giving evidence yesterday.

Paramedic George King told a court yesterday how he flew backwards out an ambulance door and landed heavily on the footpath after being shoulder charged by a patient.The 30-year veteran said the hard landing forced him off work for a week suffering severe bruising and soft tissue damage to his ribs, neck and chest.He told the court Stephen Lewis Mackay's threats to punch his head in and to kill him before the assault on August 8 last year, made him feel threatened and had forced his partner to call police for backup.The court heard Mr King had been called to a residence in Elouera St, Lake Illawarra, about 4.50am and had entered the house in the belief police were already at the scene.The paramedic found Mackay sitting in the kitchen with his wrist wrapped in a blood-soaked towel and arterial blood spurting through it.He wrapped two pressure bandages on the wound before walking him to a second ambulance which had been driven to the scene by paramedic Gary Snelson.Later when Mackay was sitting upright in the ambulance and Mr King suggested a third bandage was required, the patient became aggressive.He accused the paramedics of treating him too slowly and like a criminal or an Aboriginal on the street.Mr King told the court: "When Gary said he was going to call the police he became even more aggressive and he suddenly stood up and lunged at me with his shoulder striking me in the right chest.Mr Snelson said he didn't see the shoulder charge, but was close to the doorway when his colleague "came flying out backwards before landing on the footpath."Mackay admitted having a poor memory of the incident after drinking a large quantity of bourbon and ingesting three ecstasy tablets and two cones of marijuana.He said he may have "bumped" Mr King as he tried to leave the ambulance because he believed he needed urgent treatment and wasn't prepared to wait for police to arrive.Magistrate John Andrews convicted Mackay of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, intimidation and making false representations to police.He sentenced Mackay to six months' jail, backdated to his arrest on September 29 last year.Mackay remains in custody because bail was refused on matters to be heard later this month.