Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 24th November 2020 – 4.00pm.
A student paramedic who had his jaw broken so badly that it needed a metal plate inserted says he hopes a tough sentence will serve as a warning to others who attack emergency services staff.
Chris Cooling, 40, was part of an ambulance crew that was called to treat Jamie Davies in Winifred Avenue, Earlsdon, Coventry, after he reported having breathing difficulties.
Davies, 21, proceeded to attack Mr Cooling punching him in the face breaking his jaw. Davies was charged with causing grievous bodily harm and today was jailed for seven years and two months after entered a guilty plea at Coventry Crown Court.
Mr Cooling has yet to return to operational duties due to ongoing pain in his jaw and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He said: “I am extremely happy with the outcome of the court case and hope that it serves as deterrent to others.
“This incident has had a massive impact on me; I have so far lost seven months of my life to this attack and I am not yet able to resume my career, a career that I love. This court case has re-opened old wounds and I fear I will always have to live with the fear of something like this happening again.
“Like my colleagues, I come to work to help people. Whilst I suffered particularly severe injuries many others have also been attacked. It is sentences like this that will make people stop and think before they do something similar, yet too often the sentences do not reflect the effect such incidents have on us.
“I would like to thank West Midlands Ambulance Service for their support throughout and also to West Midlands Police for their quick response and the Crown Prosecution Service for putting such a strong case together.”
Coventry Senior Operations Manager, Dan Swain, added: “This sort of attack cannot be allowed to happen again and I am so pleased that the Judge took such tough action. I have accompanied too many staff to similar trials and never seen such a strong outcome. I really hope that it makes the point that this sort of attack is not acceptable and that other members of the judiciary follow this lead.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “When I heard about this assault on one of my crews, I was horrified.
“The length of time that it has taken Chris to recover is a sign of just how serious this assault was. Not only has it been awful for him, but it has robbed the public of a hard working member of NHS staff at a time when the health service is under immense pressure.
“I am determined that we will work with police colleagues to bring anyone who attacks my staff to justice.”