South Shields woman with 'fear of uniformed figures' attacked paramedics sent to help her after seizure

A South Tyneside woman with a fear of authority figures and people in uniform assaulted two paramedics sent to help her after she suffered a seizure at a friend’s home, a court heard.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:10 am
File picture of North East Ambulance Service

Rebecca McDonald, 28, of Pollard Street, South Shields, lashed out when she awoke on a kitchen floor to find the male 999 team trying to put a breathing aid over her mouth.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard she kicked one between the legs and scratched at them in a melee which lasted about 15 minutes at around midnight on Tuesday, December 3.

McDonald, who recently moved to South Shields from Scotland, was fined £80 and ordered to pay each paramedic £50 compensation after pleading guilty to two assaults of emergency workers.

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Prosecutor Jeff Taylor said: “An ambulance was called to the property that this lady was in need of medical attention in Chichester Road. Stephen Lawton and Paul Wales attended the premises.

“She was lying on the floor and when they tried to fit a breathing device she began to lash out. She lashed and thrashed, kicking Mr Lawton between the legs and scratching.

“They did try to restrain her, and this went on for quite a while. She became aggressive towards them.

“It’s an incident that’s relatively short-lived. She was abusive towards the ambulance drivers and made threats that were not taken seriously.”

Val Bell, defending, said McDonald suffered significant health issues including epilepsy, schizophrenia and ADHD, and was bipolar and a diabetic.

She added: “Ms McDonald does accept by her guilty pleas that her behaviour was entirely wrong.

“One her problems is that she does suffer from epilepsy. She had had a seizure which was why the paramedics were called.

“Her friend did give them some details when she dialled 999 that she had a fear of authority figures or uniformed figures.

“She came to and behaved in entirely the wrong way. She is a young lady with no previous convictions recorded against her.

“She does have a problem with authority figures and informs and does appear to have reacted in entirely the wrong way.”

McDonald was also ordered to pay a £32 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.