Paramedics found guilty of neglect after death

John Sutherland and Tom Le Sateur in ambulance service uniform
John Sutherland and Tom Le Sateur remain suspended [BBC]

Two Jersey paramedics have been found guilty of failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of a man who died after taking an overdose.

Frazer Irvine, 39, died on 18 March 2022 after he called 999 and had a cardiac arrest while paramedics and police officers were at his home in Trinity.

Paramedic John Sutherland, 66, and technician Tom Le Sateur, 36, told Jersey's Royal Court they struggled to find him and when they did his mood changed in cycles of aggression and calm.

They said his aggressive behaviour made them call for police back up.

During the eight-day trial, prosecuting Advocate Luke Sette alleged the delay in treating Mr Fraser caused by waiting for and briefing the police and putting on PPE, meant he did not receive the standard of care expected from paramedics and technicians.

These are not technical failings, the prosecution said, but fundamental.

In defence, the court was told the paramedics are entitled to be given the benefit of the doubt, that Mr Sutherland is a man of positive good character and both men are very well regarded by their colleagues.

'Forefront of our minds'

After the verdict, chief ambulance officer Peter Gavey said: "I would like to publicly apologise to Mr Irvine’s family for what happened while he was in our care. I can only imagine how painful this has been for them.

"We have never forgotten that a man died during this incident and Frazer Irvine and his family have always been at the forefront of our minds during this case.

"Cases of this kind are extremely rare, and the public can be reassured that the States of Jersey Ambulance Service is committed to upholding the highest standards of care and patient safety.

"The service remains committed to supporting all its dedicated staff and will continue to provide specific support to any staff affected by the outcome of this prosecution."

The two men remain suspended from duty.

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