Victorian paramedics have covered their own ambulances in graffiti following a court’s decision to spare two women jail after they assaulted a Melbourne ambulance worker.
Amanda Warren, 33, and Caris Underwood, 20, had the jail sentences they received for assaulting paramedic Paul Judd in 2016 quashed on appeal by Victoria County Court judge Barbara Cotterell on Tuesday.
Lawyers for the women argued that their clients had endured tough childhoods but had turned their lives around since the assault.
Warren and Underwood were originally sentenced to six months and four months respectively, but on Tuesday Judge Cotterell said special reasons linked to their difficult childhoods and young families mean the minimum six-month term should not apply.
But that decision sparked fury amongst Victorian paramedics, who used their own ambulances to express their disappointment.
Images shared on the ‘Fair Go Paramedic’ Twitter account showed the message “It’s not ok to assault paramedics” printed across the windows of the emergency vehicles.
Victorian laws introduced in 2014 require anyone who intentionally injures an emergency worker to be imprisoned for at least six months, unless there are special reasons.
Underwood’s age, being 18 at the time of the attack, was considered a special reason.
Counsel for Warren, Cecily Hollingworth, said her difficult childhood and a mental impairment also constituted special reasons.
“It’s accepted that Warren has impaired mental function… linked to what happened to Mr Judd,” she told the court.
Mr Judd was repeatedly punched and left with a broken foot while he and a colleague tried to treat an unconscious man.
The paramedic of more than 40 years needed three operations and has been unable to return to work.