Vic mums spared jail for paramedic assault

Jacqueline Le
Amanda Warren is one of two women to avoid jail after bashing a paramedic

Two women who assaulted a paramedic in Melbourne have been spared jail after a judge decided they should not serve a mandatory minimum term for attacking an emergency 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.

Warren and Underwood were originally sentenced to six months and four months respectively, but Judge Cotterell said their difficult childhoods and young families meant the minimum six-month term should not apply.

"Whilst having enormous sympathy for the victims who were attacked while going about their duties as emergency workers ... I have reached the conclusion that imposing the sentence at this stage would achieve little," she told the court.

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".

Judge Cotterell said she did not think Warren or Underwood were "suitable vehicles" for general deterrence and said the difficult childhoods they had constituted "special reasons".

Details about the women's past cannot be published for legal reasons, but judge Cotterell found Warren suffered from a mental illness and had impaired mental function.

She also said Underwood, who was 18 at the time of the assault, had a lowered psychosocial immaturity linked to her traumatic childhood.

Mr Judd wiped away tears as another paramedic comforted him in court, while colleague Chenaye Bentley, who witnessed the attack, sat next to him.

Mr Judd was repeatedly punched and left with a broken foot while he and a colleague tried to treat an unconscious man at Reservoir on March 31, 2016.

The paramedic of more than 40 years needed three operations and has been unable to return to work.

Judge Cotterell apologised to Mr Judd after re-sentencing Warren to a three-year community corrections order, while Underwood was given a two-year order.

"I'm really sorry and can see that you are badly affected," she told him.

"I just want to say I wish there was more I could do for you.

"I can tell that you are suffering and feel that a great injustice has been done."