AMBULANCE chiefs have slammed a woman who attacked a paramedic when he came to her aid.

Heather Bamber, 47, of Hoghton, denied that she ‘became obstructive and started to lash out hitting the paramedic a number of times’ during the incident earlier this year.

But at Preston Magistrates' Court she found guilty of common assault and sentenced to 60 hours community service, ordered to pay £100 compensation to her victim and £300 in court costs.

Magistrates heard the ambulance crew was called to attend a patient who had reportedly collapsed at Yates Wine Lodge in Preston around 5pm on Friday, May 29.

While the paramedics were treating the patient, staff at the bar alerted the crew to another person in its ladies toilets who potentially needed treatment.

The crew found Bamber, of The Straits, Hoghton, and helped her to the ambulance, but when inside awaiting assessment she attacked the paramedic.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said it ‘welcomed’ the verdict.

Peter Mulcahy, NWAS head of service for the Cumbria and Lancashire area, said: “There is an unacceptable level of violence directed towards ambulance staff and the trust will not tolerate this abusive behaviour, whether physical or verbal.

“If an assault occurs NWAS will fully support the staff member involved and encourage them to report it to the police to ensure appropriate action is taken against the perpetrator.

“The trust welcomes this guilty verdict and the lady’s punishment and hopes it sends out a very clear message to anyone who assaults our crews, either verbally or physically, that they will face the possibility of prosecution.”

Chief Inspector Ian Mills, of Lancashire police, added: ‘Our officers adopt a zero tolerance approach to any instances of physical or verbal abuse against ambulance crews.

“We welcome this sentence as it sends out a clear message that violence against paramedics is never acceptable.”