Ex-soldier attacked paramedic on way to hospital
A DRUNKEN former soldier has been jailed after attacking a paramedic in the back of an ambulance.
Nicholas Bezuidenhout lashed out at medical worker Jonathan Blurton as he tried to transport him to hospital for treatment.
But the 24-year-old, who admitted having an alcohol addiction, became aggressive and hit Mr Blurton, twisted his hand and spat at him.
He also caused £210 in damage to a stretcher mattress that he was lying on.
Now Bezuidenhout, from Boughey Road, Stoke, has been locked up for 12 weeks after he admitted assault by beating and criminal damage.
Sandra Whitehurst, prosecuting, told North Staffordshire Justice Centre how the paramedic was left unable to work or care for his one-year-old child after his arm was put in a cast.
She said: "When paramedics attended the incident the defendant had injuries to his hand, a cut to his knuckle and a missing tooth.
"He was very drunk and they asked him to go to the hospital which he agreed to.
"He was lying on a stretcher when he became aggressive and started to shout. He caught the paramedic in the side of the face before grabbing his arm and twisting his hand back.
"The paramedic was then spat at, and at this point his colleague had to come and assist and police officers were called."
The court heard that Bezuidenhout is struggling with an alcohol problem and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving as a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lee Yates, mitigating, said: "He is suffering with certain issues both from his upbringing and from time spent in the Armed Forces.
"He considers himself an alcoholic and is inviting a period of custody as it will help him detoxify."
Bezuidenhout was sentenced to four weeks for the criminal damage and three weeks for resisting arrest in a separate incident, which are included in the 12 week sentence.
Chairman of the Bench Chris Rushton told him: "We find the substantive charge a despicable act of conduct on a public servant and the court takes this extremely seriously.
"To your credit you admit you don't trust yourself in the community and have asked for a custodial sentence.
"You seem determined this time and it is up to you to see it through."
Bezuidenhout must also pay £250 compensation to the paramedic following the October 28 attack.