The scene inside the ambulance showing some of the damage caused

Sentencing welcomed for woman who trashed ambulance

Prison sentence for patient who damaged inside of ambulance

A woman who caused £7,500 worth of damage to the back of an ambulance during a midnight rampage has been sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment.

Zoe Wheeler, aged 30, of Denmark Street, Byker, received an ambulance in Wallsend on 15 November.

But North Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard how on the arrival of paramedic Craig Wright and Emergency Care Assistant Victoria Robertson, Wheeler became violent and began attacking the ambulance

She ripped equipment away from the ambulance walls, scrawled graffiti on cupboards, and let off the vehicle’s fire extinguisher – causing £7,500.13 worth of damage in total.

The incident caused the crew to be off the road for several hours and resulted in the ambulance being off the road for 17 days.

Wheeler pleaded guilty to criminal damage and assaulting a police officer at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and appeared for sentencing on 6 January.

As well as 18 weeks imprisonment, Wheeler was ordered to pay £500 compensation to North East Ambulance Service.

David Edwards, Risk and Claims Manager at North East Ambulance Service, said: “We have a workforce of people who have dedicated themselves to saving and protecting the lives of people in our community and it is not acceptable that they have to experience any kind of abuse whilst at work.

“Wheeler’s actions resulted in an ambulance being off the road for 17 days in total, preventing it from being used for patients in need, and cost the trust a considerable amount of money to fix.

“As a trust we are pleased to see incidents such as these are taken seriously and that appropriate sentencing has been awarded.”

Chief Inspector Nicola Musgrove said:  "The North East Ambulance Service respond to the most vulnerable in our communities in times of desperate need and carry lifesaving equipment on board their vehicles.

"Violence or abuse towards emergency service staff or vehicles will not be tolerated and we will continue to work closely with our partners to bring anyone found carrying out an offence to justice."

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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