A woman in the United Kingdom has pleaded guilty to a public order offense after she was accused of berating paramedics and leaving what they called a “vile” note on their ambulance while they were responding to an emergency call.
The woman, identified by police as 26-year-old Kirsty Sharman, was in court Tuesday on charges relating to the incident. Authorities said she verbally abused paramedics and left a profane note on an ambulance Sunday morning that was in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England, responding to a call about a person experiencing breathing problems.
After the call, when the paramedics returned to the emergency vehicle, they discovered the handwritten note on the windshield, according to a statement from the West Midlands Ambulance Service. The message read: “If this van is for anyone but Number 14 then you have no right to be parked here. I couldn’t give a ---- if the whole street collapsed now move your van from outside my house.”
Sharman, from Tunstall, was arrested and charged with a public order offense and breach of a restraining order, Staffordshire police said in a statement. It was unclear why she received the latter charge.
“We will not tolerate abuse or intimidation of our emergency services. This kind of behavior is totally unacceptable and we will take appropriate action against offenders,” Chief Inspector John Owen, commander of Staffordshire Police's Stoke North Local Policing Team, said Monday in a statement.
“The arrest relates to matters of verbal abuse that could constitute offenses under the Public Order Act,” Owen added. “This is not solely about the note.”
After the incident Sunday, paramedic Katie Tudor, with the ambulance service, tweeted a picture of the note, expressing concern about the situation.
“So upset to be sent this by one of our crews this morning! Along with this note left on their [ambulance] they received a load of verbal abuse!” she wrote.
Sharman appeared Tuesday at the North Staffordshire Justice Centre, where she pleaded guilty to the charge of a public order offense, which relates to abusive words or behavior; however, the other charge was withdrawn, according to the Stoke Sentinel.
She was fined $168 as well as other fees, according to the Sentinel.
“She, through me, offers her sincere apologies to the ambulance staff,” Sharman's solicitor, Hayley Keegan, told the court, according to the Sentinel. “She accepts her behavior was completely unacceptable. She does not seek to minimize or make any excuses.
“She is sorry for what she has done. She has accepted she did write that note. The section 5 public order is purely as a result of her abusive language towards the staff when they were trying to do their job.”
Sharman has been released from custody, according to the Sentinel.
Following the court ruling, a spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service said paramedics hope the case “will serve as a warning to others that abusing our staff is not acceptable.”
“Our staff will only block roads or park in front of drives if absolutely necessary in the interests of patient care,” the spokesman said in a statement. “In this case, they were parked at the side of the road and were not blocking a driveway.
“We would like to thank the police for their support and swift action in this case, but also to the many thousands of people who have sent us messages of support for our staff and the incredible work that they do saving lives each day.”
This story has been updated.