Suspended sentence for Chelmsford man who punched ambulance driver taking patient to hospital

Stock image of an ambulance.

Stock image of an ambulance.

A man who forced an ambulance that was taking an elderly patient to hospital to stop before punching the driver in a road rage attack has avoided an immediate jail sentence.

Michael Kearns, himself a former ambulance driver, cut up the vehicle at a roundabout in Chelmsford, Essex, on November 11 2014.

He then forced the ambulance to stop by braking and pulling his Ford Focus in front of it, prosecutor Alex Sutter-Green told Chelmsford Crown Court.

Mr Sutter-Green added: “There was a patient in the back of the vehicle.

“The defendant got out, opened the door and punched the victim.”

You may also want to watch:

The court heard Kearns, 46, of Broomfield, Chelmsford, struck a glancing blow and his victim was not badly hurt.

A paramedic who was also travelling in the ambulance witnessed the attack.

Most Read

Kearns had denied dangerous driving and assault but was found guilty after a trial.

The court heard he had a previous conviction of assault following a similar incident in 2013.

Tom Nicholson Pratt, mitigating, said his client suffered from post-traumatic stress after himself being attacked several times while working as an ambulance driver.

He added: “He only threw one punch which connected – the driver referred to it glancing off his cheek.”

Kearns cares for his sick mother and works as a professional driver transporting organs for transplant, he said.

Judge Patricia Lynch ordered him to serve a nine-month sentence suspended for two years.

She banned him from driving for a year and ordered him to complete unpaid work for the community.

She added: “You have led an otherwise good and industrious life.

“The post-traumatic stress from your previous work helps explain why an otherwise sensible and sane person commits offences such as this.

“It is a very serious matter and it is just not acceptable.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus