Woman attacked two paramedics and four police officers on Christmas Day
PUBLISHED: 06:31 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:33 11 February 2020
Union leaders have hit out at the sentence given to a woman who assaulted two paramedics and four police officers during an attack on Christmas Day.
Emergency services were called out to Debbie Warriner, otherwise known as Keisa Fields, 58, in Norwich on Christmas Eve last year.
Warriner assaulted two paramedics, sometime between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as four police officers who also attended the incident.
New laws came into force at the end of 2018 aimed at introducing tougher sentences for those convicted of attacking police officers, ambulance workers or paramedics with prison terms of up to a year available as part of the new legislation.
But despite having admitted the offences when she appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court last month Warriner, of Hawthorn Road, Gorleston, was sentenced to a one-month conditional discharge for all the offences as well being ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge. There was no order for costs or compensation given her limited means.
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The sentence passed last month has upset union leaders representing the interests of ambulance workers. Jessica Micallef, Unison branch secretary, said: "Emergency service workers uphold the fabric of our society - whether they're saving lives, protecting communities or fighting fires. They're the people we rely on at our time of utmost need.
"No one should face violence, abuse and sexual harassment at work, but emergency workers tell us that such incidents are on the rise. It's only right that the full force of the law is used against anyone who attacks those trying to save lives and protect the public. It can be disappointing to UNISON members in the Ambulance service when defendants are convicted but receive low sanctions that do not include compensation to the staff that are attacked."
Dorothy Hosein, chief executive of East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) said: "It is totally unacceptable to abuse ambulance crews and call-handlers, who are there to help.
"We have a zero tolerance approach to any form of violence or aggression to any of our staff. When incidents do happen, we work closely with the police to see that justice is done and will always support prosecutions and press for the strongest penalties."